The summer when my son would be going into 9th grade, I was behind the scenes trying to get my ducks in a row. How do I homeschool high school? It seemed daunting and scary. I looked to veteran homeschool moms in forums and blogs to gain my answers. The consensus was to plan with the end in mind. If my son wanted to go to college, then look to what his choice colleges required. Same for a tech school.
This seemed simple enough.
So, I sat my 15-year-old son down to talk about how to plan his high school homeschool and what his plans for the future might be. What did he want to be when he grew up?
And that’s when everything went sideways. He had no grand plans for college or graduation or anything else. He had no idea what he wanted to do.
This kid still wanted to build legos and get lost in reading books of fantasy. With these questions, he shut down completely. I believe the idea of becoming an adult was overwhelming, and any attempt to reopen the conversation about future careers ended in him shrugging his shoulders and saying, “I dunno.”
This was not how I expected our conversation to go. I was frustrated. I remember being 14 with dreams of going away to college. This was also not what all the forums and blogs said would happen. Our homeschooled kids would have a plan or a deep dive into some interesting subject.
They would do dual enrollment or have their associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. There was never an “I dunno” from the veteran moms’ kids. What was I supposed to do with that?
When Your Teen Doesn’t Have a Plan
I pivoted. We couldn’t be the only ones with no grand plans. I wanted my son to have a great education, but he wasn’t ready to make life-changing choices yet. That’s OK.
There is plenty of time to be an adult and very little time to be a kid.
I would give him a general college-bound plan just in case, and we’ll see where the rest takes us. We’ll use high school to be prepared for any direction.
I won’t let fear and anxiety over the future claim the joys we have today. Our time together is more important.
We will continue to read fantasy books and build legos for as long as that season is upon us. We will also plan and explore new things, Italian and History, because they interest him. Now, at 16 years old, he still doesn’t know what he wants to do, but that’s okay. I’m keeping the lines of communication open.
Homeschooling is a gift of relationships, time, education, and beauty.
If you’ve got a teen who knows exactly what they want to do and how they are going to achieve it, then that’s awesome, and I’m cheering you and them on from the sidelines! But if you are like me and have a reluctant teen who has no idea, that’s okay, too! I’m still cheering from the sidelines!
Remember, many 18-year-olds don’t know what they want to do for a career.
Don’t feel the need to rush. Seek their input about subjects and classes they may enjoy and choose the rest for them if you need to. Goals and interests evolve over time. Continue to pivot when needed.
Pray daily for guidance. Trust your intuition and trust your kiddo to mature and develop as they age.
Do what works best for your family. Have every faith that it will turn out right in the end.
How do you handle it in your homeschool when your teen doesn’t have a plan? I’d love to hear!
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