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!

How to Include Beauty in the Upper Grades of Homeschool

The buzz words (especially in the world of Classical Education) are truth, beauty, and goodness.

It all sounds lovely - idyllic, really.

When my children were younger it was easy to identify and include beautiful things and moments into our days. Nature walks were a delight, a piece of classical music was “amazing”, and a beautiful read aloud with a picnic was perfect.

Young children have such a sense of wonder and they inspire the same in their parents.

Wonder and awe with teenagers? Mmmm. Not so much.

The tendency is to just GIVE UP. They’re teens now - our job is done. We have to get that Latin assignment finished, that Chemistry lab report turned in. There are sports practices, lessons of all sorts, and a million things that tug at the lives of our teenagers.

First things first, right?

Beauty is a thing of the past. Big kids have a job to do, so let’s get it done!

Don’t fall into the trap! Now, more than ever, incorporating beauty in our homeschool is important.

How to Include Beauty in the Upper Grades of #Homeschool

We have to dig a bit deeper, invest more in relationships, and actively strive to include things of beauty in their everyday lives. We have to keep talking about the beauty in our own lives, even if they think it’s “dumb”. We have to model the quest for truth, beauty, and goodness in our own lives.

Don’t stop fighting for beauty, because it is important!

In my own life the appreciation of beauty brings me closest to God. It brings me the greatest joy and contentment.

Simple Ways to Incorporate Beauty with “Big” Kids

The same principles hold true for our big kids as they do with our little kids: read, play, explore. We just have to be creative with these principles.

Carving out time to incorporate beauty is important, too. I would argue that it is MORE important than accomplishing every academic task.

Stratford Caldecott pointed out in his marvelous book Beauty in the Word, that we are too busy educating our children for DOING rather than BEING. We are so focused on career and college preparation that we forget we are nurturing souls who can be content in God’s world.

We cannot overload our children with academics and activities to the point of neglecting time for the appreciation of beauty.

The Atmosphere of the Home

So much beauty can be simply incorporated into our homes… where our homeschoolers spend a large part of their time!

Keep fresh flowers on the kitchen table.

Play beautiful music.

Light a pretty candle.

Use your nicest china to eat dinner together - on a regular basis. Life is a beautiful thing that deserves to celebrated often!

Books & Music

I am convinced older children still enjoy read alouds.

Our read aloud time has changed over the years. I still have a time first thing in the morning where we have devotion and a read aloud. That is a non negotiable and it is just part of our day.

I also use the time we have in the car for audiobooks, music, and other things my teens might find interesting. I love to point out beautiful language, story lines, melodies, and anything that strike me as beautiful.

I’m amazed at how (even when they complain about being forced to listen) snippets from books and conversations come back around later in the day or even weeks later! When we share books and music it creates an inside language between us - a connection that no one else has. Our teens CRAVE this connection, whether they will admit it or not.

Some books we’ve been reading and listening to recently:

We also listen to an abundance of Classical Music.

Because of my curriculum development with SQUILT, this is just the default setting in our house - lots of music!

Year of Wonder is a book that allows you to learn about one piece of music each day. You can also access playlists for each month of the year that go along with the book. I am enjoying the pieces and sharing them with my children as we go - it’s a simple way to share beautiful music.

Go Outside

I recently spoke to a mom who said she felt like they didn’t appreciate God’s creation as much as they used to because they were stuck inside getting their work done with the older children.

Make the time to get outside.

Upper grades kids aren’t too old to go on a nature walk.

Find a local nature area, pack some school books, take a nature walk and then study for a bit. I usually manage to sneak in a gourmet coffee with them afterwards.

Spring is a particularly beautiful time to see God’s beauty in full display!

How to Include Beauty in Your Upper Grades #Homeschool

If you have children with younger friends, try to do this type of outing with them. It is good for our big kids to see the world through younger eyes!

We often take our dog to the park to get some exercise. It is good for everyone!

On days when the weather is nice my son loves hanging out in his Eno at home in our woods and reading. You can’t help but be awed by God’s world as you lay in your hammock in the woods.

Give your big kids the task of planting and tending a garden.

Eat lunch outside when the weather permits.

Support Beauty with Your Time & Money

When children are young we want to expose them to so many things. We take them to the museum, the symphony, the ballet, and a host of other events and places that will instill culture in their young minds.

We cannot neglect this as our children get older.

Take your teens to plays, symphonies, and concerts. Take advantage of interesting opportunities.

Is there a birding group in your area?

Are there guided nature walks at a state park?

Is a famous choir coming to sing at a local church? Is there an art festival you can attend?

It is rare that we will go to see a movie in the theaters, but I WILL spend money to take my kids to the symphony or museum.

Serve Others

We can see God at work when we help others.

So often our teens only focus on THEMSELVES; the biggest gift we can give them is the opportunity to serve.

Volunteer at a food bank.

Visit an elderly neighbor or church member. (You have a unique opportunity as a homeschooler to structure your time so that this can be a priority. I cannot tell you the joy my children brought to an elderly church member when we showed up to visit her in a rehab facility after she had been in a very serious car accident! I know it deeply impacted my kids, too!)

Local nursing homes always welcome young people to share musical talents or read to residents - or simply spend time just BEING with them.

My children have been deeply invested in the special needs ministry at our church. The beauty they have witnessed through their interactions with their special needs friends has been such a gift.

In Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Keep a Quiet Heart, she writes,

People with disabilities are God’s best visual aids to demonstrate who He really is. His power shows up best in weakness. And who by the worlds’ standards is weaker than the mentally or physically disabled? As the world watches, these people persevere. They live, love, trust and obey Him. Eventually the world is forced to say, “How great their God must be to inspire this kind of loyalty.?”

God didn’t intend for us to live alone, and he gives us such a beautiful chance to serve others through our homeschooling days!

Choose Curriculum Wisely

Aren’t we lucky to have an abundance of curriculum and schooling options?

Don’t neglect to look for beauty as you plan your child’s education.

We have loved the Challenge program because it emphasizes beauty in all things. There are many curricula that incorporate beauty. Do your research and make beauty a priority!

My son has been using Shormann Math

Shormann Math is built on a biblical and historical foundation that teaches math as the language of science; a tool used to better understand God and His creation.

Encourage your children to see beauty of God in each and every area of their lives - even Algebra!

Don’t neglect the arts when your children are in the upper grades, either. Give them time to take an art class, music, or dance lessons. Our children need the opportunity to create things of beauty.

How to Include Beauty in the Upper Grades of Homeschool

Model the Quest For and Appreciation of Beauty

We must model the importance of beauty in our OWN lives.

Do you take time to read good books? Listen to beautiful music? Get outside?

All the things I talked about above are for US, too!

What do you do with your free time? Do you recognize and call out beauty when you see it?

It is a beautiful thing to have one of my children sit down next to me in the evening with a book. I could be watching something like The Bachelor (I say this because I’ve done that, too - but not so much the older I’ve gotten) but there is so much more beauty in a lovely book.

Modeling this enjoyment is rubbing off on my children!

The quest for beauty doesn’t have to be such an elusive, ethereal concept. It is real and practical - and once you begin seeking and finding beauty you will find it is a bit of a compulsion!

Do you incorporate beauty into your homeschool days?

Let me know how in the comments below.