My oldest son turned 15 yesterday. He recently completed driver’s training and is driving the family around whenever we go somewhere. Whoa, talk about mind-blowing for this mom! How did my son get so old so fast?!?!?
If you have teenage boys you have probably noticed that your tried and true homeschooling methods aren’t working as well for them anymore. Once our boys reach the tween or teen ages, you will occasionally find that the son who once used to look up at you with adoring eyes will now be looking down on you with disdain.
As our sons approach adulthood, there is often a battle of the wills between them and their parents. This is especially hard on moms who are homeschooling because we tend to receive the brunt of it. We’re home with them all day long and we’re attempting to teach our boys. Our sons, however, are beginning to see our lessons as lectures and our suggestions as bossing them around.
What’s Going On?
Our boys will become men and they are desperate to be seen and treated as men during these critical years. So, what is a mom to do? How can we best homeschool our teenage boys?
Here are Ten Tips for Teaching Teenage Boys:
- Ask Him What He Needs – Talk to your son. Does he feel there are any changes that need to be made in your homeschool? Does he have any suggestions? Listening to your son’s thoughts and opinions is key. By the way, if your son has a hard time expressing himself verbally, take him for a ride in the car. Boys have an easier time opening up when they are sitting side-by-side rather than when we are looking them in the eye.
- Hand Over the Reigns – Let him have some control over his life. As your son gets older, and shows himself to be responsible, you need to give him more and more control. You may find, as we have, that giving your son a list of weekly tasks and letting him manage his own time will do wonders for his attitude.
- Stop Waking Him Up – Teenagers need a lot more sleep than you might think. Allow your son to sleep in later than you have been and you are bound to see positive changes in his demeanor.
- Get Dad Involved – As your son enters his teen years it will be harder and harder for him to take orders from mom. When you start to feel resistance from your son, and it isn’t wise for you to back down, then get your husband involved. Sometimes dads can explain things in a way that is more palatable for your son to hear. Sometimes they need to lay down the law.
- Real Life Learning – It’s important to give our teenage sons experience in the real world. Encourage them to hold a part-time job. Find them a mentor from your church. Help them to find internships or volunteer opportunities. Boys learn so much more from these types of experiences than they ever will through book learning!
- Physical Activity is Key – Give your son plenty of opportunities to burn off his extra energy. Team sports are one way to do this. Throwing the football around the the backyard with dad is another way. Challenge your son to set fitness goals. Many boys thrive when being pushed in this area by a coach or other adult they look up to.
- Let Him Explore His Interests and Talents – Rather than teaching your son all of the same subjects that he would be getting in school, tailor his education more to his unique needs. Let him study electives that he will enjoy and that will challenge him. Allow him to learn in a way that works best for him. Give him lots of opportunities to try new things.
- Show Him Respect – If we want our sons to show us respect we need to model that behavior for them. Boys crave respect as much as their fathers do. This is the top way to develop a good relationship with your teenage son!
- Treat Him Like a Man – Whenever possible, start treating your son the way you would treat your husband. Give him hard things to do and ask him to help you. Don’t assume that he needs your help or wants your advice. And tell him what you want him to do. Don’t make him try to guess!
- Relax – Women can have a tendency to get worked up over things. We can sometimes see situations as more urgent or important than they really are. And we worry too much. Our sons greatly appreciate it when we remain calm and let the little things go.
Allow this difficult time to drive you to your knees in prayer and God will give you the strength and wisdom you need to homeschool and parent your son.
The teenage years are a HUGE time of transition for our kids AND for us parents. Do you remember what you were like as a teenager? Do you recall the things your parents used to do that frustrated you? Try to have some empathy for your teens and keep in mind all of the hormones that they are still learning to deal with. As your child gets older and sees the effort that you are making in the relationship, he will eventually come around. Give it time.
Question: Do you have any other advice you would give for either parenting or homeschooling teenage boys? Have you successfully homeschooled a teenage son? Please leave a comment below.