25 Benefits of Homeschooling Your Teen

Many homeschooling families begin to doubt their decision to homeschool as children enter the teen years.

I understand.

The teen years present a host of parenting challenges in general - throw education into the mix and it can be overwhelming. The high school years especially feel like a time we just need to get it right.

Are they getting the right credits?

What about sports?

How can I help my child with Calculus?

Will they miss the prom?

Will they get into college?

The list of questions is enough to keep a parent up at night, isnt’ it?

I am proponent of never saying never, but I feel confident in our decision to homeschool through high school (largely because I’ve done it!). So many people tell me why they could never homeschool high school.

I’m here to tell you why you CAN, and share the many benefits.

25 Benefits of #Homeschooling Your Teen

Strong Relationships with Parents

I think it is fair to say I have a very good relationship with my children. We are together so much and this forces us to have to work through it all - the good and the bad - on a daily basis.

Time to Develop and Explore Passions

Because we aren’t slaves to a traditional school schedule my children can spend time on what interests them. During the high school years, especially, this is is so important.


Our teens need their sleep. Yes, I agree they need to know how to get up with an alarm clock and follow someone else’s rules, as well.

I like to think we have a healthy mixture of this in our home. We have days where we have to be up and out, and days where we can sleep in and rest if we need it.

No one can accomplish much when they are run down and worn out!

Absence of Peer Pressure

We haven’t dealt with mean girls, cliques, being “uncool” because we’re smart, or any of the other worries I had in traditional school.

I’ve almost forgotten how MEAN teens can be to one another. I am SO thankful we don’t deal with this. In fact, I think we have just the opposite: iron sharpens iron!

Less Attitude

We often associate the teen years with attitudes - eye rolling and disrespect. I read an interesting thing about adolescence the other day:

Adolescence metastasized during a season in American history when families weren’t prepared to raise on of the first generations ever to experience childhood with both parents working outside of the home. Without parents that said, “Follow me,” - into the kitchen and into the yard, into the office and onto the farm - children didn’t learn many of the basic skills required to become an adult. ~ Janet Newberry (Education by Design, Not Default)

Because we are homeschooling we have the opportunity to guide our children into adulthood - I’m noticing that we are skipping a lot of the “teenager” behavior that I simply assumed would occur.

It’s Not “All About Me”

Again, because we are homeschooling, my children see life day in and day out. Life is messy and difficult. Life is also joyful and wonderful.

Because my children have had to experience everything with us at home they know that life isn’t all about them. In a school the focus is all on the children - at home our kids have to sometimes take a backseat for one another or other members of the family.

This is a GOOD thing.

25 Benefits of #Homeschooling Your Teen


Selfishly, it’s nice to have some help around the house! Many hands make light work.

Additionally, the skills children learn because they are helping around the house from a young age are invaluable. We can incorporate cooking, cleaning, yard work, and so many other household chores into our school day.

More Time for Real Life

We don’t have the wasted time of waiting in line, changing classes, going to and from school, and just all of the TIME spent doing nothing in traditional school.

This gives us more time for REAL LIFE.

Enough said.

Increased Independence (with the right motivation)

When we homeschool our children we can give them opportunities to be independent. Things like doing laundry, cooking meals - and working jobs as they get older - help our children become independent.

Some children become independent because they are FORCED to do so - but I would like to think that my homeschool teens have become independent because I have inspired them to do so. They see the fruits of their labor and are looking forward to adulthood.

They aren’t simply being independent because mom isn’t home to help them. Mom is THERE, coming alongside them in love, to inspire them towards independence.

(Yes, I’m including some pictures of my homeschoolers in this post — love my kiddos!)

25 Benefits of #Homeschooling Your Teen

College Readiness

This goes back to the independence I think. As our teens become more independent (socially and academically), they are readying themselves for college.

I’ve heard time and again that homeschoolers are a college professor’s dream because they are self-starters and go above and beyond what is expected of them. They haven’t been box checkers in their homeschooling career, so they aren’t wondering what boxes need to be checked to receive a certain grade in college.

Homeschoolers are used to working for MASTERY not a reward.

This is huge.

Better Social Skills

Ironic, isn’t it? Homeschoolers have better social skills.

I have watched homeschoolers carefully and they generally know how to interact with a wide variety of people quite successfully. Their language is more sophisticated (because they haven’t been around teen speak all day every day) and they are able to relate to people of ALL ages because this is what they know.

Honestly, I am SO THANKFUL my children don’t have the social skills I have seen in some traditional teens. I’m not trying to put other teens down, I am just telling you the truth of why we homeschool.

It’s Less Expensive than Traditional School

Yes, we have to pay for all of our own supplies and classes, etc… Stick with me, however.

Have you seen how much a marching band trip in the public schools costs these days? Are you aware of how much money traditional school children spend on the prom?

How about the clothes kids feel they need to have to keep up with others?

I think you get my point here.

At the very least I feel better about how we invest our dollars in our homeschool than I would if my child were in a traditional school.

It Nurtures Introverts & Extroverts

I have one of each in my house.

We can set our homeschool up for the success of both my introvert and my extrovert.

Our teens need to feel loved and secure. They need to feel they can be who they are and not have to conform to everyone else.

God created our children in the image of HIM, yet uniquely gifted as well. Our children’s true identity is in Christ, not who the world says they are. Introverts and extroverts have very different needs, and I am thankful to be able to cater to those through homeschooling.

Increased Academic Opportunities

If you are willing to do your research and plug into your community there are an abundance of academic opportunities for our teens.

Just a couple of weeks ago we were at a Robotics Open House at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I am quite certain this motivated a lot of the teens in our group!

There are so many classes, curricula, and groups for our teens. This is perhaps the most exciting thing about homeschooling a teen right now. The world is your oyster!

More Opportunities to Fail

You read that right: more opportunities to fail.

Because we aren’t worried about checking off boxes or working towards a grade (or worse still achievement on a standardized test) we can let our students fail and then learn from those failures.

Failure is the BEST way for our teens to learn. Our teens need to make mistakes, humble themselves, seek forgiveness, and receive grace. That cycle will repeat itself again and again my children’s lives, and it never ceases to amaze me the learning that takes place.

My home is the safest place for my children to fail. They can make some of their biggest mistakes under my roof. When they are out on their own they will hopefully look back on those failures and remember the value in admitting the mistake and seeking forgiveness - and then taking ownership.

They Mature Earlier, Yet Stay Younger Longer

Think about this: our homeschoolers mature earlier, yet stay younger longer.

Increased independence leads to maturation.

If we are successful in “sheltering” our children from so many of the evils of this world, they will stay younger for longer.

Many people mistake maturity for worldliness… I want my teens to be mature but not worldly. There is a HUGE difference.

I also believe that because many of our homeschoolers have younger siblings they are forced to stay younger for longer. I know that my own children interact with many children who are younger and it is such a blessing!

Close Sibling Relationships

Homeschool teens need their siblings. Siblings will be around much longer than traditional school friends (in most cases), and we have a unique opportunity to foster that relationship.

Our culture now is suffering from the effects of so many fractured families. Hopefully homeschool parents are doing their part to create strong families and close siblings!

Freedom to Pursue Their Relationship with God

We are able to bring God into EVERYTHING when we homeschool.

Our teens are in such a time of faith formation. They can be free to see His presence (or even question His presence).

The teen years mark the beginning of the dialectic, and our children are created to question and seek. We have such a chance to guide them in their faith through all of the time we enjoy with them at home!

25 Reasons to #Homeschool Your Teen

Working and Saving Money

From a very practical standpoint, our homeschool teens can have jobs and begin to save money from a younger age.

I know so many homeschool teens (my own 17 year old included) who work a job - or two - , go to school, and participate in other activities. In days gone by our teens were expected to work and pull their weight.

Many people now simply hand their children “opportunities” and don’t feel they need to burden them with a job. Parents, one of the best things you can do for your children is to make them WORK. The satisfaction that comes from buying their own clothes, filling their own gas tank, and purchasing their own incidentals is immense.

And, with the rising price of secondary education, these kids need to pull their weight!

25 Reasons to #Homeschool Your Teen

Quality of Friendships

My children have had many of the same friends for a LONG time.

Homeschoolers generally tend to value friendships (because they aren’t as readily available as they would be in traditional school) and cultivate those friendships.

I watch the friendships of school children come and go - based on who is the most popular, or who is dating whom at the present time. It’s all so shallow and sets the kids up for heartbreak - not to mention they never learn how to TRULY be a good friend.

Young People Who Are Leaders, NOT Followers

Our teens have greater confidence to lead when they are certain of their identity - and certain they are loved.

They will not look for affirmation through following a group.

This also goes along with maturing earlier and staying younger longer. Our teens grow in grace and naturally will bring others along with them!

Courage to Pursue Nontraditional Paths After High School

College isn’t for everyone. Increasingly, nontraditional paths after high school are starting to become more financially and emotionally rewarding.

Because our homeschoolers have been off the beaten path in their homeschool journey they have the courage to continue after high school.

Community Service

Our teens, when they are homeschooled, have a chance to participate in community service because they WANT to - not because it is required for a resume or transcript.

It makes me so sad to see high schoolers checking getting in their “volunteer hours” just so they look good on an application.

As we, their parents, participate in community service, we can naturally encourage our children to serve with us (not keeping track of the hours!), and hopefully this will lead our teens to love and crave more service.

We are also in a beautiful position to help our neighbors and those closest to us because we are at home and have the time to see and respond to their needs.


Yes, I’m going there.

With all of the shootings and violence in our public schools, I am thankful to be able to keep my children in a more protected environment.

Homeschooling our children (especially our teens) is a safer option. They are at less risk for violence, exposure to drugs, and a myriad of other things that plague today’s schools.

Our Children Can Become “Persons”

So often in a traditional school our children are simply “test scores to be ranked and marketed, instead of persons to be raised, nourished, known, and valued.” (Janet Newberry)

I am so clearly witnessing my children becoming persons - the person God intended them to be.

There are so many competing agendas in the world of education today, and I don’t want my children to be pawns in the system.

The most gratifying part of my homeschooling journey has been watching my children (now 14 and 17) mature into the young people God desires them to be. I know they have a long way to go, but I am honored to have taken them this far!

I’d love to know if you have any other compelling reasons to homeschool our teens! I’m sure we can come up with quite a long list!

Leave me a comment and let me know!

What We've Been Up To Lately: Literature, Logic, and Learning Experiences

Life is rich, full, and BUSY when you have teenagers in the house.

I thought life with toddlers was tiring and mentally draining, but life with teenagers is a different kind of busy. (God bless the families that have toddlers AND teenagers.)

We’re tackling some BIG ideas - both emotionally and academically.

I can see, however, how much homeschooling our children has equipped all of us for this point in our children’s lives. The relationships we have created and the habits we have developed over the past several years are equipping us to tackle high school and college.

By God’s grace everything ahead of us seems GOOD - even if it is hard. Usually a chai latte, a good book, and some quiet time for prayer have been helping me put everything into proper perspective.

Literature, Logic, and Learning Experiences - What We’ve Been Up To Lately in Our #homeschool @ Homegrown Learners


Books really do help us escape to other worlds. Finishing a book also gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose - not to mention learning loads of interesting things while I’m reading.

Some really cool things have happened recently in our house with literature.

  • My son is reading a new collector’s set of The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings. He is suddenly intensely interested in reading Tolkien - and his friends from his homeschool group are all spurring each other on with what they are reading. One of my prayers for my son has been for his love of reading to continue as we make our way through the Challenge years.

  • My daughter is tackling a part of Le Mis in her 12th grade World Literature class. (Have you seen how BIG the book is? I bought it a few weeks ago and it scares me!) The two of us enjoyed seeing the Broadway production of Le Mis a couple weeks ago - it was spectacular! We had a great discussion about the themes of justice and mercy surrounding the story.

  • I am making a lot of wonderful history connections in my 2019 . My first big book of the year was One Summer: America, 1927. Now, I’m almost finished with The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Interestingly enough, the historical fiction I chose to go along with these was Next Year in Havana. I learned so much about the history of Cuba through this book. All three books together have given me a deeper perspective on life in America in the 1900s.

  • Several of you have been joining me for the Beauty in the Word book club study. I highly recommend reading this book when you have dedicated time to truly dig into deep ideas about your children’s education.

  • Reading aloud is also a staple in our homeschool - and yes, even big kids like to be read to! We just finished Homeless Bird (beautiful) and are in the middle of Nowhere Boy. Both of these books are turning the kids’ attention to issues in other parts of the world - through stories of children their own age.

  • Finally, I love to use our time in the car for listening to audiobooks. Grant and I have been listening to Bold & Broken by the Benham brothers. The theme of being broken is surfacing a lot in my life, and I am finding great power in admitting my own brokenness - and how sharing that brokenness can be a bridge for others to Christ. This book is humorous but also poignant - it’s just the right mix for a teenage boy. Because the Benham brothers were pro baseball players my son relates to them quite well.


Logic studies this year have been difficult. My son is a bright boy and this is one of the first times he is encountering true difficulty with a subject.

My mantra has been “process over product”.

So much can be learned from struggling through this logic curriculum - and I hope I’m freeing him up to struggle by letting him know it IS difficult and I’m not expecting perfection, just his very best effort.

I can see great value in studying logic, but I will tell you it isn’t something I would have selected for him on my own. This is a part of his Challenge B curriculum.

And let’s pause for a minute to talk about grades. This is one of those subjects where I’m not strictly keeping “grades”… after all, I don’t want him to get a C on a test and leave it at that. If he gets a C on a Logic test then we will struggle through the answers until we come to understanding. After working towards mastery with his best effort that seems like an A to me.

I’m setting up children for lifelong learning, not learning to regurgitate on a test.

Learning Experiences

The middle and high school years are bringing huge learning experiences for my kids.

We’ve always required our children to take piano lessons.

When March rolls around it is time for the Federation festival. This year Grant memorized two pieces and played them for a judge. I’m proud of him for receiving a Superior rating.

Anna did this festival for nine years in a row, and this was Grant’s sixth year. It teaches them perseverance, patience, and valuable performance/presentation skills.

This year Grant’s pieces seemed to kind of fall apart in the week leading up to the festival. I assured him it was a normal part of the preparation process, and he managed to pull out a Superior at the festival.

A little bit of nervousness, facing our fears - and then performing well - is such a great learning experience!


Meanwhile, on the same day, Anna drove to Spring Fest at the college she is attending next year. She did this on her own! The drive is two hours - which made this mom just a little nervous.

She learned a lot more about the college and came home with all kinds of details about their Special Education cohort program. The students move through their last two years of school together, student teaching throughout. They also offer a study abroad program focusing on special education in other cultures.

I could have gone with her, but she wanted to do this herself. She has always been my strong willed child (a challenge for this homeschool mom!), but I can clearly see that strong will working for good as she gets older.

Moms, if you have a strong-willed child just stay the course. Be firm, loving, and allow them plenty of opportunities to be independent. Let them take control of their education. I’ve learned my daughter needs to own her successes and failures, and the entire college application and selection process has been no different.

She’s also had a setback with a roommate situation. She thought she was all set with a roommate who is a friend of hers now, but the roommate has decided to attend another school. I must admit, my heart broke a little for her because having this one thing settled was making Anna feel so much more confident about school. This setback, though, has been a good opportunity to stress God’s hand in the process, and it is the first of many obstacles that Anna will have to overcome in her college career.

Another learning experience. You cannot control a situation, but you CAN control your reaction to the situation. (a good reminder for all of us!)

As we’re preparing for the change of transitioning to high school for my youngest and college for my oldest, we’re still in the process of settling my father-in-law’s estate.

Yesterday was the first time to go to his house after the estate sale. The house was totally empty. Talk about a sucker punch to the gut.

I think is one of the hardest things we’ve ever been through.

(At that same time we received news that my niece had a new baby - a precious little girl. The cycle of life is one thing we can be sure of, isn’t it?)

The theme of our lives this year is CHANGE. So much change. Even through all the changes and hard times we are OK — we are blessed in so many ways.

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Now I will be turning my attention to planning a graduation celebration for Anna and a Confirmation celebration for Grant - two big events coming this spring!

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to in your homeschool lately!

Leave a comment below to share with us…

Literature, Logic & Learning Experiences - #homeschool encouragement to stay the course