Wow, your child turned eighteen years old! And now you’re preparing for a stimulating homeschooling year – but you have reservations. New homeschoolers have many fears and questions, especially when dealing with older teenagers.
The questions range from what should you expect from homeschooling an eighteen year old, what are other children in the same age range learning, and what are the different curriculum options available to you and your child?
There are no simple answers. A child’s development depends on many factors. Every child learns at their own pace and with their own styles. The good news is, you know your child better than anyone else, so you can use this information as a general guideline and comparison tool, while you reach eighteen year old milestones throughout the school year.
General 18 Year Old Milestones
Eighteen year olds have a lot on their minds. At one time they may be pondering the many experiences they’ve shared with friends and, at another time, thinking about what comes next. And they have their families to think about – especially if they’re leaving home for college, the military, or some other exciting adventure. They may also be juggling the intense feelings toward a romantic interest who won’t be joining them when they leave their hometown. Every eighteen year old struggles with these conflicting feelings. It’s part of their young lives.
Other traits that eighteen year olds share include:
- feeling less peer pressure
- yearning for more wisdom from parents and other adults
- struggling with school work
- a desire for more social freedom
- developing more thoughtful decisions about the future
Expectations for Homeschooling an 18 Year Old
Homeschooling an eighteen year old differs from any other grade. They are young adults now and most likely expect to be treated like adults. If that’s the case, don’t forget to remind them that if they want this treatment, they must earn it. You still have rules and they must follow them. You can become less rigid because of their age, but you still have expectations and milestones for this school year – school is not over yet. One cool thing is your child does want your advice and wisdom. But you should listen to them as well. Have a two-way conversation and counsel them on their hopes and fears. It will make accomplishing your goals for the year much easier.
Preparing them for adult life also includes teaching them more life skills. Cooking their own meals, doing their own laundry, checking the oil on their car (if they have one), and instructing them on personal finance. Too many young adults spend frivolously at college or when they’re away from home. They don’t understand the dangers of credit cards or the limitations on their debit cards – for example, withdrawing money from an ATM that charges outrageous fees.
You also have graduation plans. Is your child graduating with a local or statewide homeschool group, with a group of friends, or maybe just celebrating with family? No child should miss out on celebrating such a life-changing event. And how about a prom? Preparing ahead makes the school year much more enjoyable and less stressful.
What Other 18 Year Olds are Learning
Eighteen year olds participating in traditional schooling are being introduced to a variety of new subjects and materials. They include:
- sophisticated math subjects including calculus, statistics, or trigonometry
- United States government and economics
- 18th, 19th, and 20th century American literature
- writing extensive papers and creating bibliographies
- numerous electives such as foreign language, career studies, or computers
Online Curriculum for 18 Year Olds
Some online curriculum choices make perfect sense for eighteen year olds because they encourage independent work habits. Subjects are structured into chapters of interactive lessons, printable worksheets, quizzes, and tests. The combination of online lessons, offline practice, and assessment keeps your homeschooler motivated and focused.
Online curriculum tools offer you some great benefits, too. They provide scheduling, record keeping, and automatically save detailed progress reports on your children, which your state may require. As a result, gathering transcripts and other integral information that your eighteen year old needs for graduation and college becomes less complicated.
Preparing an eighteen year old for the future stresses many parents. But by reading material such as this guideline and organizing everything now, you will make the transition to life after high school much smoother for your child.