This post was originally written six years ago. But I decided to repost it with some revisions. Homeschool rebels are still a reality. I hope what I learned through our experiences will encourage you if you find yourself homeschooling a rebel.
To tell you the truth, I am not looking forward to this school year. Our youngest is our toughest when it comes to homeschooling. God has given her a very strong will. I am certain that He has plans to use her determination for great things. But knowing how to deal with this strong will is difficult.
I often feel like I am failing. I tell myself, "I should know how to do this." It is my fourth time around, yet I am still learning how to parent and homeschool. She keeps me on my toes!
Homeschooling can be tough, but homeschooling the teen rebel is even tougher.
If you are raising a teen rebel you have heard statements something like these and probably many times.
"I don't want to live here."
"You don't understand or care about me!"
"You don't know what I am going through."
The homeschool mom failure award was mine. I was sure of it. I felt all alone. But I was not alone. I had believed the lie that if I homeschooled my children in a Christian atmosphere and did my very best, relying on God for help, my husband and I would not have rebellious children. There was a huge flaw in my theory. I am raising strong willed humans with a free will, not robots. God was a perfect parent and look at Adam and Eve!
I spent many days looking back at our parenting and her life trying to figure out how this rebellion suddenly appeared.
There are as many reasons for teens to rebel as there are rebellious teens, but most of them probably point back to the fact that they are unwilling to obey God.
There were days when she would beg us to allow her to go to public school. But I knew that it would only give her more opportunities to engage with other teens who were making just as many or more foolish choices than she was.
I will be honest. It was emotionally painful and exhausting to watch her, live with her and wait for change. Would she come to her senses? How long would it take. I wasn't sure I could bare it.
Almost daily I wondered if we would make it successfully to graduation. What made graduation possible was the fact that she wanted to be done with school. She wanted to leave home ASAP and she knew that they only way, in her mind, she could successfully move on to the life she thought she wanted was to graduate from high school.
The two of us made a truce the end of her junior year. I would do everything I could to help her get the credits she needed to graduate using different means than typical classes. She promised to give it her all, do her best and trust that I would get her to graduation successfully. I promised tohelp her get there as quickly as I could
God is faithful and loves your teen more than you do!
Many a day I cried and prayed and cried and prayed some more. But I am very thankful for those three very difficult years.
She, as well as her older sister (strong-willed as well, but yet so different), helped me see more clearly how deep and wide God's love is toward His children. When we know what we should do and still choose not to don't it, it affects our relationship with Him. When we are hurting, He wants us to come to Him for advice, comfort, and love. Yet many times we push Him away.
Just like my daughter's actions and choices hurt me, my actions and selfish choices affect my relationship with my Lord. When I look at it this way it reminds me to be more patient and forgiving with her like the Lord is with me.
I would like to remind you of a few things when you find yourself raising a teen rebel.
If you are raising a strong willed child who has decided in her/his teens years to test the waters and make foolish choices. I feel your pain. I have been there. We want so much to stop them, to talk them back to reality and help them see the effects of the choices they are making. But we can't. Give your teen to Lord and pray without ceasing on their behalf.
Are you raising a strong-willed child? What has God taught you through it?
Enjoying the journey.... even when homeschooling a rebel,
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Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Homeschooling Teens Successfully and Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four children and five grandchildren. Three of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own businesses and doing quite well. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams.