The Present Status of Homeschooled Teens
Last weekend, I spoke at the Florida Parent Educator’s Association homeschool convention in Orlando, Florida. The previous year, I was a featured speaker there, but THIS year I had the opportunity to speak in the Teen Program. This was part of Apologia Science’s two-day Boldly Explore Creation program where several scientists spoke on fascinating topics, and we did lots of fun hands-on activities. My two talks were titled, The Alien World of the Ocean, and The Science Behind Science Fiction. I had lots of fun sharing how we can see God’s amazing fingerprints as we study his creation as well as how science can help us to dream and create.
But perhaps the most enjoyable experience I had was being with almost two hundred students between the ages of 13 and 19 for those two 8-hour days. Can you believe I just said that? Most people would consider that experience something more like a punishment.
Yet these students were delightful! They were attentive, asked excellent questions, and even though some of them wouldn’t consider science their favorite subject, they respectfully participated in the experiments and activities, and I would say that they actually enjoyed themselves!
I want to attribute this to the fascinating program that Apologia puts on, but I have to give complete credit to the parents who have been pouring into these young people. They are a product of daily encouragement and guidance. They are a product of Mamas who have been up all night in prayer, asking for wisdom in how to train their little ones. They are a product of Fathers who have bravely led and have considered a relationship with their children more valuable than lesser things that the world can offer.
And they are a product of homeschooling.
As I have been speaking to homeschoolers all over the country for well over a decade, I can honestly say that it is the engagement and dialogue, the time (both quality AND quantity), and the continual prayer that help produce students who are mature and well-educated.
For some of the activities, we asked the students to divide up into small groups. I smiled as I saw some of them ask those who were alone to join their team. I saw several multi-aged groups. I heard lots of giggles.
Parents, let me encourage you that you are doing a wonderful job! If you are feeling like the day-to-day work is exhausting or if you aren’t seeing much fruit, you have to believe me that you ARE making progress. It might not feel like it right now, but you are doing so much more for your children in preparing them to live and work in our world than you might realize. You are building relationships with them! You are modeling for them that life sometimes is difficult. You are showing them, in our often fallible ways, how to navigate those challenges.
And they are seeing that you are FOR them!
Please keep going. Keep pursuing them. It is for their good!
And I look forward to meeting more of them and hearing more amazing stories of what they are doing as they enter adulthood!
Have an extraordinary day!