Homeschooling a Tween Girl: Top Ten Tips!

What makes a good topic for the first post on a new blog?

Our homeschool journey (as they like to call it) began about 9 years ago (and we still have not reached any destination! Why do they call it a ‘journey’? Why not a ‘ride’? Sounds more fun! Implies ‘ups and downs’, spilled sticky drinks, surprises, etc. Much better!). I think it would be stretching it to attempt come up with a wonderfully coherent ‘look back’ on all those days and months, offering Wise Advice and Useful Tips. ‘From Learning Letters to Schlepping Through Shakespeare!

Nope, we’ll just have to jump right in where we are, which is: heading for my daughter’s 13th birthday, partway through Grade Eight (or the home-baked – or is that half-baked?! – equivalent).

I can’t find many ‘personalized’ suggestions for homeschooling tweens out there. I guess it is presumed that by now, we homeschooling families have either Figured Things Out, or It’s Too Late (!). That’s it, no more Top Ten lists, you’re on your own! Fend for yourselves! Or, perhaps – and more likely – it is just a tricky time of life for young people and parents both, and it is easy to feel totally lost. Better just put a paper bag over your head for a couple of years and hope no one is going to look too closely at the kitchen floor. (Yes, it’s true, I still can’t get our home ‘clean’. Only ‘close to’ clean! Who would have thought?)

Well, I refuse to be swayed! Confusion, beware! Discouragement, back off! Total Freak Out Mode, turn off! Here are ‘Ten Tips For Moms Who Are Homeschooling Tween Daughters’!

  1. There is no such thing as sleeping in too late.
  2. When academic accomplishments take a dive, and the reason is A Bad Hair Day, Mom should not panic. If possible. This phase will pass. I repeat, this phase will pass.
  3. Delicious snacks are a very important part of daily life (for everyone). Make your own, when you can, and ENJOY!
  4. The emotional and psychological drama around making friends is worth at least three school subjects, in terms of Time and Energy Required to Get Through It. (Again. And Again.)
  5. It’s OK to change your mind about your favourite school subject (food, clothing, profession, pet, movie, book, etc.) at least 200 times a day. (Moms and Daughters both.)
  6. Exercise of some kind is not always a good idea (see No. 5), but it usually helps to improve the general mood. (Note that the term ‘usually’ is used in the vaguest sense possible, and I refuse to acknowledge any specific meaning of the word without the presence of my lawyer.)
  7. Watch a good movie whenever you can! Together, or alone.
  8. Despite popular opinion, you (Mom) are still allowed to wear your hair like that. And wear those pants. And listen to that CD!
  9. Not everyone likes computer programming, educational videos, or art. Or piano. Or school. 🙂
  10. It’s OK to run out of good advice (but not good chocolate).

On that note, three cheers for homeschoolers everywhere! And a special ‘hip hip hooray’ for Canadians who are doing their best to educate and inspire their children at home. We need more Canadian homeschooler blogs! (Are you out there? Please comment and include a link to your site!)

All the best,

Elise and family

Link to vaguely-related (free!) product: A Zen Planner

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