Unschooling Teens – Questions Anybody?

I don’t unschool the younger years.  For starters I never want to miss even one minute of the privilege of seeing my children learn along side me, but also my guys just don’t enjoy learning alone when they are young.  I am very hands on up until they become teens.  There are no hard and fast rules, just simply an awareness that they are old enough and mature enough to take control of their own learning.  We have been moving towards complete unschooling for the older ones for the past couple of years, and it has occurred to me that they are now pretty much completely free to follow their goals for their lives.  Yes, I am still involved and yes, I am still here to keep them accountable (and I do) but it is them setting the goals, choosing the courses and looking forward to their futures.

This is rather a lovely stage to be at.  I’m not saying everyday is a breeze (with hormones I don’t see how that can ever be!) but in general it is an exciting time for us all.  Being hands off is kind of nice.  I like seeing them choose to work, choose to follow their dreams and move ever forward towards adulthood.

I thought it might be time to write a more up to date report on each of the older one’s directions, goals and aspirations for the future and how they hope to achieve them.  I have three similar aged teens and all three have chosen vastly different paths to follow.  I will start writing these posts next week and was wondering if any of you had any specific questions you would like answered in regards to the older years.  I would be happy to ask the children to respond, and might even do a separate post for each teen following a question and answer format.

So if any of you want to ask anything, whether it be aimed at just one of the teens or all of them please do leave a question in the comments or (if you wish to remain anonymous) by emailing me at angelicscalliwags at bt openworld dot com


  1. As a mother homeschooling a teen daughter (14 yrs old) I am really looking forward to these posts. I have been feeling the need to let go a bit and let my daughter take more of a lead in her schooling. My biggest fear is that she will just sit around and watch Doctor Who and Sherlock all the time. How do your kids choose what to learn and how do you make sure they stay on track?

  2. What if your teen decides to go in a direction you don’t think is a good idea, or that you don’t approve of?

  3. You mention hormones? We are gooing through such a bad patch with those at the moment. I was wondering how each of your children cope, especially the girls. My thirteen year old seems to be a different person once a month. Do you allow it? Do you reduce their work? I’d love to have your input on this.

  4. Hello! My boys are still young but I’m looking towards homeschooling in high school. I like your approach. Do your older children ever struggle with lack of motivation? Or lack of follow through? How do you handle this? Thanks for taking questions 🙂

  5. Do your teens feel more self-motivated because their goals (exams/adult life/jobs etc) seem much closer now and they’re more aware that it will be more down to them/their hard work as to whether they succeed in their chosen path?
    Also, do you set any boundaries at all – eg you can do this once you’ve studied X for 2 hours etc?
    Thanks Claire!
    Helen x

  6. Ooh! I love this! I find that we unschooled a lot of the younger years but I have been tightening up the reigns more and more now that the boys are getting older (and I don’t love that at all!). I’d love to allow them more say and the idea of unschooling teens really appeals to me. I guess my biggest questions would be… how do you make sure they’re meeting graduation requirements? How do you translate what they’re studying into a transcript? and How do they stay motivated for those subjects they might not enjoy as much?

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