We are the first generation parenting our kids through the dangers and benefits of the online world. Sometimes I wish there was a roadmap to follow. It seems like uncharted territory. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, there are challenges in this online content world, but there are also new possibilities and ways to help your teens excel.
Look at the Big Picture
First, you need a realistic overview of your homeschooling goals and also your teen’s future aspirations. Many of our kids will need exposure and expertise in the ever-evolving tech world. So it makes sense to allow them the freedom to learn and grow in these skills. And many times, our kids will far surpass us!
But at the same time, the big picture needs to include emotional, social, and academic awareness of how more and more time online is affecting our kids. I know this is a touchy subject, and I don’t think there’s one right answer for every kid to fit inside a box on this.
However, we have noticed that certain personalities in our house can’t handle too much time online. Somehow they’re not able to transition well back to the “real world.”
Other teens in our family have a healthy ability to play online, work online, and then also interact with real people.
You really do have to take your kids as individuals and decide what time boundaries are right for you.
Helping Your Teens Become Creators Instead of Merely Consumers
Here’s where the big picture allows you to see the benefits for the future.
The teens who are successful in the 21stcentury will be the ones with skills related to being creators rather than merely consumers.
Almost all of our kids know how to consume content – whether it’s YouTube, other videos, online games, or even educational sites.
But how many of those same kids know how to create valuable content? This will distinguish the “normal” kid from the one who stands out from their peers when pursuing college admission or a place in the job market.
Learning how to be an online content creator will help build these skills into your teens:
- customer service
- writing professional copy
- graphic design
- business finances
- outlining skills
- application of knowledge
- and more!
But how can you help them become creators if you don’t have these skills yourself? Outsource!
And one of these outsourcing opportunities is the Podcast Launch for Teens. This self-paced online course will help your teens take an idea and see it come to completion as a fully launched podcast. I’ll show you how to count this course for credit on your student’s homeschool high school transcript.
Giving our kids the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship will help them excel in their future as innovation and problem solving become key aspects of success in the 21st century.
If you’d like to learn more, you can download a course schedule and brainstorming sheet for your teen at 4onemore.com
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.