Monday, March 17, 2014

The terrible truth about homeschooling teenagers...

(today's post is part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Bloghop
Homeschooling (and parenting!) Gifted/2e Kids into their Teens and beyond)

Dah dah dah.....the dreaded teenage years!

Be afraid, very afraid, because your Facebook feed is full of doom and gloom:


Teens (and increasingly, tweens) have attitude, they grunt, they hate their parents, they are discovering "who they are" (good luck with that by the way). Parents of young kids are terrified of the teen years - not assisted by the news and media portrayal of them as a generally negative thing that must be endured by all.

Add in gifted. Add in some kind of weirdo twice-exceptionality. Add in homeschooling. Enough to scare the willies out of anyone!

And yes, they do have their moments of gruntiness, but I am here to tell you, life with teens, particularly gifted, homeschooled teens isn't all bad.

Here is my truth about homeschooling and parenting gifted teenagers:

  • They sleep. You know when you have babies and toddlers (gifted as it turns out) and they NEVER sleep and you feel like slitting your wrists because you can NEVER imagine it getting better? Well, it gets better. They sleep. All night. Well, starting at midnight, but they are not in their rooms crying until then - no, they are reading (I wish), watching YouTube or listening to music (I wish). And they sleep all night and half the morning too, given half the chance. Homeschooling lets us take advantage of those altered hormones, because we don't have to have them up and dressed and semi-functioning to start school at 8:30am (thank goodness). 

  • They have a great sense of humour. When things do get a little tense, you can lighten the atmosphere with a bit of joke, some sarcasm (who me?) or a quip and they get it. I love my kids' sense of humour - especially my son's. He cracks me up with his witty observations on life and his laugh is joyful (especially because he's actually laughing - happy days, people!).

  • Contrary to popular belief, you can TALK to them. Yanno, really talk. And they understand stuff. We can have discussions about history, politics and the whether Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules is better. OK, so they decide the best time to have a deep and meaningful is usually at 11pm when you're just about to drop off your perch, but hey, I figure it's better than grunting. 

  • The schoolwork is so much more interesting! I read some Facebook groups and if I see one more post about teaching phonics and adding single digits I think I will stab my eyeballs out with a knitting needle. Quadratic equations and European imperialism are where it's at, baby!!!

  • They can help out more around the house. They might not like it, but who does? Because they are tall now, they can reach the clothes on the line. They can push the vacuum. They can even start help cooking dinner (hey, a mum can dream, can't she?). And I don't like to think of it as slavery, rather than I am preparing them to go out into the big wide world as functioning young adults (still dreaming!).

  • I've saved the best until last: it gets EASIER. For those parents of gifted/2e kids out there who maybe can't share how freaking hard it is with the people around them, please know that I know. There are days when you wonder if boarding school might not be a better idea. What with the emotional ups and downs, the sensitivities, the over-excitabilities, the executive functioning disorderlies - a Bex and a good lie down never sounded so good. But I'm here to let you know, that it gets easier. Believe or not, the moods actually even out in the teen years. Maybe it's because we homeschool, but things have gotten calmer, more sane and (dare I say it?) more mature around here since the hormones kicked in! Not perfect, mind you (but whose household is?), but easier. And that's gotta be the best news ever, yes?

So, there's my thoughts on teens. It'll probably all turn pear-shaped now I've declared it to be OK. So go check out the other posts in the bloghop by clicking on the pic:

Do you have teens/tweens? Coping OK?
If your kids are little(er), are you dreading the teen years?
What's your hot tip for dealing with teenage angst?

Embroidery Project - Blue Butterfly

I downloaded this pattern as a PDF from Hoop Embroidery Co on Esty as my first attempt at the technique known as "thread painting"...