Homeschooling Teens: Catching Up with Lillie

Describe how your school has changed over the past year?

It has become a lot harder, and more time consuming, mainly because of the photography diploma I am doing.  This leads to a professional qualification and it is a lot harder than we thought it would be.  However, I am really thankful to be given this opportunity to progress in my photography.

Has this been a welcome change?

Yes…and no!  I love how productive I now am, but I am struggling with being permanently tired.  I do in excess of five hours a day on my photography and 1 1/2 hours a day on my art.  I love both, but it feels very intense at the moment.

What are your long term goals for your future?

I have been surprised by how much I love photography.  I am seriously thinking of pursuing a career in photography, in particular portrait photography.

What is the next step in achieving these goals?

Finishing my Level Three diploma in Photography (which I finish in June 2018), and Level Two diploma in Art and Design (which I finish in January 2019).  In September 2019 I will begin a two year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.  I can choose to take the photography route and so could end up with a Foundation diploma in Photography.  This will keep the doors open to University, although at the moment that is not what I want to do.

Academically speaking, how are you ensuring you have what you need to follow your dreams?

See above 🙂

Non-academically, what are you doing to help you achieve your dreams?

The Christian Dance and Drama group I am involved with has asked me to become their photographer during class situations.

I have set up a photography blog, have an active photography Instagram page, and have just set up a Facebook Page.  Mum posts my photos on her blog and they are occasionally pinned to readers Pinterest boards.

Do you have a back up plan at all?

I find it really hard to look that far into the future.  I know I want to spend my life creating, but more than that I am not sure.  There are so many things I like to do, narrowing them down is hard.  I still make and sell my own jewellery, although finding that all allusive time is harder and harder….

Are you enjoying everything you are studying?


How do you motivate yourself to do the work, even when you don’t want to do it?

I remind myself of a passage in the Bible: Colossians 3 v 23 ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,’ also 2 Corinthians 9 v 6 ‘Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.’

When I remind myself that I am here to work for God it takes my focus of me (and my lack of motivation) and encourages me to work to my fullest potential for the Lord.

Do you set daily/weekly goals?

I set myself a daily goal to try to be happy regardless of the situation.  I also make sure that I spend time with God each day and that He is the first place I turn when I need help.

What stops you just sitting around watching tv all day?

Level Three Photography Diploma.  ‘Nuff said!

Are your parents happy with the choices you have made for your future?

I should think so!

Do you find being a teenager hard? What specifically makes this age harder than previous ages?

I used to because I had difficulty finding the right friends.  However the past year has been a learning curve for me, and I now have a group of very special lovely friends who are always there for me, as I am for them.  What makes this age specifically harder is definitely peer pressure.  There are certain expectations to look the same and dress the same, which I refuse to meet.  I am at a place now where I am comfortable with my decision to be simply me, rather than how society directs.

What has helped most in combating the effects of hormones?

Tea.  Baths.  And mother….in that order!!

Do you regularly set goals and not reach them?


What do you do when you are struggling to complete something?

Cry.  Tea.  Mother.  Knuckle down 😉

Do you feel more self-motivated because your goals (exams/adult life/jobs etc) seem much closer now and you’re more aware that it will be more down to your hard work as to whether you succeed in your chosen path?


Do you look forward to your future with excitement? If so why or why not?

Yes.  I love that I can do the things I love, with the people I love.  I feel so supported at home and very at peace with the decisions I have made for my life.  This means every day for me offers fresh opportunities and this excites me.

Is there anything you would change about your homeschool journey so far?

Nope…..maths (which I don’t do at the moment!).  So noooo  😉

Do you have anything you want to add?

To all the teenagers out there, I want to pass on a bit of Winnie the Pooh wisdom….

“Always remember you are braver than you believe,

Stronger than you seem,

Smarter than you think,

And twice as beautiful as you have ever imagined”



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