“I’ll do it later mom” or “leave me alone” are common phrases spoken by teens as they head to their room and shut the door. 

Navigating the teen years is challenging, but homeschooling through the teen years is even more difficult. You are never sure if your teen is well enough engaged with your family’s homeschooling, and every time you try something new, your efforts are met with resistance. This article will discuss four ways to help teens gain more independence while still keeping them engaged in the family.

Share the “Why”

Understanding the “why” behind assignments helps your teen know the purpose and importance of projects. Communication between parents and teens is very important. Discussing the purpose or “why” of something helps your teen see how the project fits into the grand scheme of education and shares the importance from a different perspective. Discussing the “why” is one part of parent-teen communication that can help everyone grow to be the best person they can be.

Designate Work Areas

When children get older, they want a quiet place where they can work free of distractions. As a result, they will often head off to their room or another secluded area to do their work. Although it can appear as if they are trying to shut themselves off from the rest of the family, they do this because it is a quiet space that is their own. It’s not always because they want to get away from the family. Having multiple designated schoolwork areas in your home, not just one homeschool room, allows your students to find a place that works for them and you.

Give Your Student More Responsibility

For teens with siblings; you can assign the younger sibling’s schoolwork to your young-adult to correct. Not only will this lighten your load as a parent but it also gives more responsibility to your son or daughter and makes them accountable to their siblings and you as their parent.

Have Them Make Their Own Schedule

If your teens want independence, give them the freedom to make their schedule however they want. This can teach them organization, time management skills, and what it means to be responsible for their work. They will probably have a few learning experiences along the way, but that should not stop you from giving this responsibility to your young adult. Because it is important to learn from mistakes, big or small, organizing a schedule is an easy way for teens to learn, and figure out how to fix problems.

There are many other ways you can help your teens gain independence without them becoming defiant. As they grow up, the most important thing to keep in mind as parents is that your children are made in the image of God, and it is your job to help them grow to be image bearers of Him at home and in public. The moody teen years will pass, and when they are out of the house, your children will be able to look back and see the sacrifices you made for them.


Elisa Miller is an IAHE intern. She has been homeschooled her entire life and is on track to graduate a year early thanks to the flexibility homeschooling provides. In her spare time, she enjoys running and learning about photography. When she graduates, she hopes to join the Air Force and specialize in the public affairs field.