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How do you know if you are choosing the right courses for your teen?

Please grab your cup of coffee or tea, slip away to a quite place and lets "talk" for a few minutes. I'd  love to show you what I did and what you can start doing today.

But first you have to learn how to motivate them and where their passions lie! And that begins with you getting to know your teen!

Right now, your teen's job is to be a student, to learn. They need to complete the necessary requirements to graduate from high school. And whether they do it happily or not, it most likely will happen.

But how do you motive them to want to learn? You can’t just let them loose and let them choose all their classes?

As parents, our first job is to teach our children about Jesus and His love for them, that they are unique, created on purpose for a purpose.

The second job is to help our child, our teen, find their passion and vision for their future. Find what they were created to do then connect school with life after high school so they see a reason to do school. Help them find their purpose!

Spend time with your teen... quantity and quality time! Both are needed. This is the very first step in choosing the right courses for your teen.

Plan to sit down with them this week and ask them these questions.

Five years after high school graduation.....

Where do you want your spiritual life to be?

What types of relationships will you have?

Will you have a family of your own?

What do you want your income to be?

How do you plan to make that income?

How about your lifestyle, your health?

What would be your dream job if money and time weren’t an issue to get there?


Do they have a goal for their life after high school? Do they have a passion? Do you know what it is? Have you ever asked them?

This vision provides them with a line of sight, an emotional connection to reaching that goal which will help them overcome the challenges of high school and help them continue when the tasks seem too difficult.

When your teen has a passion, a vision, a goal and is confident in working toward that goal, knowing that high school is a step toward making that goal a reality, it will start transforming their thinking.

We both know that their passion now may be completely different after they graduate. But whatever it is now, it will help motivate them in their high school years.

I'm inserting an important side note here. If your child is resisting learning or not learning at all, find out why and make necessary changes.

We found out, when our youngest was 14, that she had a working memory issue and recalling information was hard for her, specifically when she had to remember facts that she read.

When we learned about Dr. Carol Brown and Equipping Minds, our school days were transformed from difficult, painful days to days of learning with a good attitude. What a difference it made! If your child has even a hint of learning struggles it will be well worth your time to take a look at Equipping Minds.

How does your teen learn best? Is it through doing, hearing, touching, smelling, or seeing? Maybe it's a combination of some or all of them.

It will be a waste of time and money if you pay for your teen to do school completely online and then discover that their brain checks outs about an hour into their school day because that form of learning is not how they learn best. Even when they are paying attention, it may be hard for them to stay focused. They may not be able to retain what they are being taught because that way of learning doesn’t fit their learning style.

We should strengthen all the ways of learning. Sometimes we don't have a choice. In fact, we learn best when we have multiple ways of learning each subject. But when you do have a choice, make sure you use the one what works best for them!

If the subject is primarily taught in a form of learning that they struggle with, no wonder they aren’t motivated. Most of us don’t look forward to doing things that make us feel like we are inferior, dumb, not capable, you get the picture.

Get to know your teen. And how they learn best. This helps with everything!

Do you want to choose the right courses for your teen? Start by adding delight directed learning to their school day.

Lee Binz says, "Delight directed learning is when a person pursues learning about a topic because they take great delight in it, and not just because it’s a required course."

You have unlimited choices when it comes to choosing curriculum for your teen. Although you do need to cover all the basics like reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, you’ll want to look for curriculum that will encourage your teen’s passion! If they love art, music, or science, give them more! If they ask for microbiology, or economics, or a study of the world wars, follow their interests and get it for them.

Always ask yourself the following questions before you choose a class or buy curriculum.

  • Is this fulfilling a graduation requirement?
  • Is this a course that will help them develop their passion? Or is there a course that would better compliment my teen's passion that would fulfill a requirement?
  • Am I giving them a variety of learning avenues?
  • Is this course necessary?
  • What would my teen think about this class?

There is nothing wrong with your teens having two courses in history or music, for example, in one semester, if that is what they love. As long as you have covered the core courses required for graduation, the options are endless.

Make time and room in their school day for them to do what they love. Let them choose, as much as you might not like it, let them go with it.

If you cannot find a course that is directly related to your teen passion, create your own.

So how do you create a self-directed course for them? Lee Binz says, “Don’t work ahead, follow behind.”

Let them do what they love and watch them learn.

At the end of the year write up a course description using what they did and produced on their own, while having fun, pursuing their passion.

Take note of what they do, yes, literally take note. Keep track, write it down. How much time are they spending a day on it? What are they creating, learning?

Your job as a homeschool parent is to pick up the mess they leave behind and turn it into a course description of what they have learned! That’s the best kind of learning!

Be carefully not to take those passions and turn them into a “school subject.” If you do, you will find that your teen has lost interest in the subject.

Help them find their passions and if possible, help them explore careers that would use those passions and gifts.

People of all ages will learn when they love what they are doing!

The most important part of choosing the right courses for your child is to start with a goal, a road map. Know your target, your end goal. Have plan so you know if your are on track.

Without this road map to get your teen successfully to graduation, you are wandering at best, hoping to get to your final destination. Please don't do that.

I spent 15 years homeschooling teens, preparing my four children for graduation and life beyond. I spent so much time with my first child wondering if I was doing enough or doing it right. I researched, asked homeschool friends lots of  questions and still wondered if I was doing what she needed to succeed in life.

Now, after successfully graduating four children. I know what I did right to get them there.

I would love to help you get to the place where you too are confident in homeschooling your teen.... give you that road map and help you fill in the blanks with classes tailor made to fit your teen and their passions. It's a great feeling to know you are doing exactly what they need.

When you know where you are going, your teen will feel confident in following your lead in helping them to success!

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Enjoying the journey,