Summertime Blues: What to Do When It Strikes You HardJun 10th, 2012 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, Summertime Blues
“Everyone else from public school gets the whole summer off. Why shouldn’t I?”
Even if you don’t utter the words out loud, they are likely to cross your mind at some point as summer fever gets underway. As it grows steadily warmer, sunshine abounds, and the balmy breeze seems to whisper in your ear… “it’s time to be lazy…” Although homeschooling rocks for a number of great reasons, the draw of doing absolutely nothing for an entire month or two might sound good to the average teen. You might even feel yourself getting a little bitter and testy about the situation.
But here’s why you shouldn’t: You are not the average teen. You are on a different path in life, and whether your parents chose it for you, or it was something you wanted, the end result is the same. Traditional school rules just don’t apply here.
Of course, there are ups and downs to homeschooling, just as with nearly every choice you make in life. It’s never quite an easy ride (even if it may appear that way initially). But if you honestly sit down and look at the pros and cons of being homeschooled, you are going to realize that the scales have tipped to the pro side of the fulcrum.
So here’s what to keep in mind if those blues hit you this summer:
- It’s only natural. The old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” has stuck around for generations for a reason. Doubts creep in, negative feelings rise up, and perhaps even the occasional tantrum occurs. Hey, it’s human nature. Keep in mind though, that it’s HOW you deal with such issues or feelings that makes or breaks you as you move into adulthood.
- You are homeschooled for the right reason. Whatever goal your family had in mind when opting to homeschool you, there was a dang good reason for it – and you probably already know it. Bring those mega-benefits to the forefront of your mind and recite them when you are feeling down. Even athletes have a mantra that they can chant in their head during the hardest parts of a competition or training… make one up for yourself, and keep it close to your heart.
- You’re naturally curious. I would wager, if you are a homeschooler, boredom is going to bite you hard if you did nothing all summer anyway. You enjoy learning, and you are a natural knowledge seeker. And every bit of extra enrichment and life experience you receive now will only serve to make your path easier in years to come. In the real world, confidence and curiosity will be huge assets in every way.
- You are in charge of your education – not a school district. Your traditional counterparts spend the greater part of 9 months being told when to sit, when to stand, when to speak, when to go to the bathroom, when to get on the bus or off it, shuffling through hallways and in lunch-lines, and navigating a social jungle fraught with sometimes horrendous pitfalls. They have no say in subject matter, scheduling, or curriculum. You do. As a homeschooler, you are in the driver’s seat. Honestly, that rocks.
- Your parents have given up a lot to homeschool you. Summer is the most likely time that your opinions are going to clash over how much you should or shouldn’t do. Whether your parents are laid back about what gets finished and when, or whether they adhere to a stricter sort of schedule, you are not always going to agree. But you are at an age where you can recognize how difficult a task it can be for a parent to stick with homeschooling their children, and how much time they have to put into your individualized and high-quality education. Make sure, before starting any argument, you visually put yourself in the parent role for a moment and think before you speak. However, you are also at an age where negotiation over how much time you spend on certain subjects over the summer months may be allowed, if approached in an adult and rational manner.
If you like to look at numbers, here’s some hard evidence on how well many homeschoolers do in life as opposed to their traditional counterparts. Dr. Brian Ray, with the National Home Education Research Institute, has done many studies through the years on thousands of homeschoolers. He has written books full of SAT scores, ACT scores, percentiles, college statistics, and even studies on how adults who were homeschooled have done in adult life – and the numbers prove quite positive.
His studies show that homeschoolers pass the test, from good grades in junior high to well-adjusted, critical-thinking adults. So be reassured – you have a great chance of doing really well if you hang in there this summer, and beat those blues! There is truly a good reason that you are walking the homeschool path.
Additional homeschooling posts:
What to Do When Mom Says “NO” to Digital Media
Teens hear it all the time: “Turn that off right now, and do something productive.
Homeschool Teens: Feel Isolated? Tips and Tools for Social Success
Nearly every teen feels the need to fit in and be a part of a larger social community.