I am happy to hear my most recent article in Texas Home School Coalition’s REVIEW has been an encouragement to homeschool moms of teens. I was hesitant to take on this topic, because not everyone agrees with the position my husband and I take on this. But it certainly worked so well for us, and I hope you find similar success helping your young men and women launch out into adulthood
I was not allowed to work when I was a teen. Though I was homeschooled, academics and music practicing were my job, and I worked those full time. But while I appreciate the solid foundation my parents gave me, I wanted to add something more for my own teens.
So I told them to get a job.
Actually, they were already working. Those early, lean years as a ministry family scraping by in a small, drafty East Coast parsonage taught us not only frugality but the absurdity of an allowance. “You live here, you work here” was not just a saying, but a way of life. Once a child asked if he could have an allowance, and I replied, “Of course! You are allowed to continue eating and sleeping here. Go finish your chores.”
So my children became creative at finding odd jobs for any amount of money – a dollar for walking the dog, a five for shoveling snow. And we weren’t completely heartless during times of extra work. When I was working over forty hours while homeschooling one trying year, my husband paid my daughter two dollars a day to cook dinner. She thought she had hit the jackpot – food and spending money!
Odd jobs around the house and neighborhood led to bigger opportunities. Soon they had regular work dog sitting, mowing, and visiting shut-ins. My preteen boys accompanied a neighbor to work in his wrapping paper warehouse. My oldest earned his referee license so he could officiate soccer games for the city.
By high school, we realized how important a part time job is for our teens. There are many lessons they are learning at work that, believe it or not, we simply can’t teach them at home. These experiences on the job are a different yet critical part of their education for real life, lessons I could not teach them alone. Lessons they need.
Balancing Work and Homeschooling Can Be Easy
if we have already made homeschooling easy for ourselves and for our teens. Find out how you can take it easy and get more learning accomplished in my new book, Homeschool Made Easy, available now on kindle.