Homeschool Organization Hacks for Teens

Homeschooling your teen is drastically different than your elementary-aged student.  There is much more independent learning and progress is often gauged by a weekly instead of daily basis.  Here are some tips to help avoid conflict and keep the days running smoothly.

1.  Expectations and the follow-up: Though you may have homeschooled your child from day one, your child still has his own will and opinion on how he thinks things should be done.  At the beginning of each semester, lay out your expectations for the child–this may include how their time is managed, the material that needs to be covered, where they should study, and how you plan to assess their progress.  Then plan one day a week, either at the beginning or the end, to go over the expectations and how the student is doing.  If there is a lot of verbal miscommunication during these meetings (the teen years can be so challenging some times), consider using a weekly expectation evaluation sheet with your expectations clearly stated and a place to write observations about your student’s performance and ways to improve.  Once your child gets the hang of it, these meetings may become more infrequent.

2.  One Calendar:  With all of the extra-curricular activities, tests can be easily forgotten and swim meets overlooked.  The easiest way to avoid a miscommunication or simple forgetfulness is to have a master calendar for everyone.  Depending on the number of children you have, this may be a wall calendar or you may want to hang a large dry erase calendar.  Use different colors for different students and/or activities.

3.  Keeping It Organized:  Getting organized is one thing; keeping it that way is quite another.  After getting organized, immediately come up with systems to maintain the level of organization your family prefers.  Be sure to communicate your systems to everyone, and encourage everyone to help hold each other accountable.  If your students are all teens or you have have young ones and teens, the execution of maintaining a level of organization is something that can be expected of everyone.  Have a quick time to pick-up at the end of the school day (even if the students study in their respective rooms) and at the end of each week.  Keeping it organized is much easier if it is a group effort!

How do you stay organized?  What systems have worked for you?

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