7 Reasons I'd Never Homeschool My Teen

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booksI recently came across the story of a Tesca Fitzgerald, who, at 12, is getting ready to start college and plans to be working her Ph.D. by age 16. Her proud mother credited her daughter's genius to the fact that she was homeschooled. Amazing, right? But I have to tell you, that is as impressive as it is crazy. It made me wonder if I could homeschool my teen or pre-teen. With the cost of private school in New York City, the idea is an attractive one. But I quickly came to my senses and here's why. Check out the 7 reasons I'd never home school my teen.

  1. I could probably get him through algebra and geometry, but we'd both need a tutor when it came to calculus. Sure, I took it in high school but it was in one ear and out the other as soon as the final was finished.
  2. I can't imagine his first intense classroom setting being a college lecture. Talk about intimidating.
  3. We'd get sick of each other by week four two. 
  4. When he complains about his bitchy teacher, he'll be talking about me.
  5. When I complain about my crappy job, I'll be talking about him.
  6. I can't teach him the same survival instincts you learn navigating your way though mean girls, jocks, geeks, or whichever else cliques exist these days.
  7. I'm not a trained educator. Parents love to complain about their kids' teachers but it's a tough job. Probably one of the toughest. It's a combo of instructor, counselor, soother, conflict resolution expert, and motivator. How exhausting is that?!

I tip my hat to all those moms and dads who successfully homeschool their children. It's clearly not something every parent can do.

Do you think you could homeschool your teen?


Image via amber dawn pullin/Flickr

education, elementary school, homeschool, homeschooling


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nonmember avatar blue

Well, the "trained" educators are consistently failing our children. There is a reason homeschooled children have higher test scores, higher college scores, higher success rates in the real world,and are recruited by top colleges. Do you really think children don't experience all these people while their in their peer groups, sports, activities, etc?

tuffy... tuffymama

If your kid is smart enough for calculus, chances are pretty damn good that YOU wouldn't be his sole instructor as a homeschooling parent. My oldest was homeschooled for the final two years of high school, and trust, I am no physics wiz. He went to the international mag lab, had a mentor, and belonged to an active study group of other genius kids. We are starting the youngest on Singapore Math, and he seems to be flowing the sqme math path as ODS, so I foresee a similar involvement in outside groups for him. These periodic weird, backdoor attempts by The Stir to insult homeschoolers and homeschooling are needless, and tiresome already. You know a good deal of your readership homeschools. You're all like mean girls in middle school, snickering about someone you SAY smells and has crossed eyes, but is perfectly normal, and probably smarter than you.

tuffy... tuffymama

*following. Forgive my numb thumbs.

nonmember avatar aimee

i agree with the author. plus im not smart enough and iI have a job iI dont have the time to sit down and teach my son the things that someone went to school to be able to teach children. also proffesionals arent failing aour kids or their wouldnt be kids that werent homeschooled going to college and getting good jobs

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I am a trained educator and would absolutely consider homeschooling so long as my kids could also be involved in intervarsity sports, drama, band, whatever extracurriculars float their boats.

nonmember avatar Abby

Tuffy- I didn't take this article as any disrespect to homeschooling. In fact, she seems to credit those who have the ability/time/patience to do it.

I was actually advanced scholastically; however, being the youngest, by far, in my classes really hurt my social evolution. What middle school kid can truly "hang" with classmates/peers who are eighteen to twenty? I couldn't at age 14. And, the idea of extracurriculars is great, but a college schedule doesn't mix well with a middle school "bedtime." I think homeschooling is great as long as the education doesn't impede healthy socialization. In this particular case, college at 12 years of age might just do that.

gabe05 gabe05

I felt the same way when we embarked on the homeschooling journey, but I found answers to each of your concerns.  1.  There are lots of tutors available as well as co-ops for help with calculus.  Or have your kid do joint enrollment and take calculus at a local college.  2.  With co-ops, they already get "intense" classroom experiences.  3.  My oldest is ten and we still genuinely enjoy one another.  Maybe it will change, but we have a relationship of mutual respect, so I don't think so.  4 and 5.  Again, mutual respect solves that.  6.  Dance, Awana, Choir, Baseball, Basketball, etc. gives plenty of opportunities for learning to deal with peers.  7.  I have a Master's in Education, so no worries!

femal... femaleMIKE

No, I don't think I have the skills and patience to teach. 

If by the time by son is in high school and I see that he is having problems, I would be open to alternative learning. 

Darlene Pineda

Well, I am homeschooling my teen, so obviously I don't find your reasoning all that convincing.

As for "survival instincts" I regularly steal his lunch, push him in the hall, and give him wedgies. You know, to toughen him up. Because that is apparently the most important lesson one learns in school--how to be abused.

Oh, wait, I don't. Instead he has learned about the political process and about civil disobedience. Instead he comes to marches and protests and learns about real bullies in the justice system and the legislator, and learns real tools to use against them.

Plus, I have never thought spending time with my kid was crappy, nor has he thought of me as a bitch.

Claire Glenn Atteberry

Also homeschooling a teen and a tween. First, I didn't have these children to ship them off to be essentially raised and educated by strangers. They are my favorite people in the mapped universe to hang out with. There are PLENTY of extra activities of which they can avail themselves, believe me. The odometer on my car can attest to that. And patience? Patience has never been my strong suit, but I have improved BY HOMESCHOOLING. While it is true that not every family is cut out for it, it truly is a fabulous experience. You have to be engaged with your kids and if you can't accomplish that, then you probably should rethink having more. Oh, and BTW...The author's claim to fame is "knowing way too much about the Kardashians." Now, there's an educational achievement.

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