055. Navigating Technology, Social Media, and Gaming in High School

Navigating Technology, Social Media, and Gaming in High School

This is the 11th episode in our High School Series

In today’s interconnected world, technology, social media, and gaming have become integral aspects of our kids’ lives. Learn how to navigate the challenges and embrace the opportunities that technology brings to your child’s education.

Episode 055:

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Brand New to Homeschooling?
Kindergarten Page >>
High School Series >>

Show Notes

We’re uncovering the ever-evolving intersection of homeschooling and the tech-savvy generation, shedding light on how these young learners harness the power of the digital realm for growth, connection, and self-discovery.

Our digital landscape is rapidly evolving and whether we like it or not, technology, social media, and gaming have become huge parts of the lives of our kids – especially teenagers. With the rise of smartphones, social networking platforms, and increasingly sophisticated video games, teens find themselves navigating a complex and dynamic intersection of virtual and real-world experiences.  If your kids are like ours, they probably know and understand way more than you do about modern-day tech!

The use of technology, the influence of social media, and the allure of gaming significantly shape the lives of our children. Especially during the teen years! These social, educational, and recreational dimensions of their life offer both opportunities and challenges. This age of modern connectivity is reshaping the way they communicate, learn, and unwind, and can even blur the boundaries between the physical and digital realms.  Every family is going to have different rules of how all of this technology is introduced, but many kids get their start online with various apps and games and that only grows as they get older.

Teenagers often find connection in online gaming. We all know that homeschooling is a big timesaver over a more traditional school with more flexibility in their schedule, allowing them more time to explore their favorite virtual realms. When our kids were younger, Game Ed Academy was Homeschooling with Minecraft.

We talk all the time about hands-on learning, being present, and how many opportunities our kids get to socialize in person because they literally have more hours in their day. But online gaming can also foster social interactions, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Through digital adventures, homeschooled teens can find a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences, cultivating a diverse group of friends who share their passion for gaming. 

Felicia Day book, “You’re Never Weird on the Internet” and her unique life as a homeschooler gave her a lot of opportunities to explore her interest in gaming and the tech world.

Striking a balance and intersecting homeschooling and online gaming showcases how technology can enhance the social and educational experiences of today’s teens. It can supplement what you’re already providing for them and create additional avenues for personal growth and connection. 

How To Approach Using Technology in Your Homeschool (9:35)


Find a healthy balance between screen time and other activities to ensure that technology doesn’t consume the entire day. Remember, this episode is for our highschoolers and in a couple years, they’re going to be off on their own. It’s our job to teach them effective time management skills to find balance in their academic work, social life, and online activities. Hopefully this is something you’ve been working on all along, but if not, start teaching them balance and good habits now. 

Online Safety

Be mindful of sharing personal information online, and use strong, unique passwords to protect your accounts.

The whirlwind of social media, online dating, and mobile apps can make life a dream—or a nightmare. For every trustworthy website, there are countless jerks, bullies, and scam artists who want to harvest your personal information for their own purposes. But you can fight back, right now. Even if your privacy has already been compromised, don’t panic. It’s not too late to take control. Let
The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy help you cut through the confusion and start protecting your online life.

Privacy Settings: Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings on social media platforms and gaming accounts to control who can access your information. Some apps have location sharing, so be sure you stay on top of that and don’t blindly approve platforms you’re unfamiliar with.

Digital Footprint: It’s important that teens recognize that their online actions leave a digital footprint that can impact their future, such as college admissions or job opportunities. 

Content Evaluation: Be critical of the content you consume online and in games to ensure it aligns with your values and doesn’t promote harmful behavior. 

Media Literacy: teach them the ability to discern credible information from fake news and be aware of the potential for manipulation on the internet. 

Healthy Relationships: Use technology and social media to foster positive, real-world relationships, rather than just substituting them with virtual connections. 

Cyberbullying: Understand the potential risks of cyberbullying and how to respond if you or someone you know experiences it. And at this age, it may seem like they aren’t listening, but I promise that they are so don’t stop guiding them because you don’t think they’re listening.  They are!

Social Dilemma

By considering all of these factors, homeschooled teenagers can make informed and responsible choices regarding their use of technology, social media, and gaming.

How To Use Technology in Your Homeschool (16:55)

Integrating technology into a homeschool high school is almost a must in today’s world. It can really enrich your academic experience. Utilizing digital resources can enhance the learning process by offering access to a vast array of educational materials, from virtual laboratories for science experiments to multimedia resources for history and language arts. Technology also facilitates personalized learning, allowing homeschooled high school students to have tailored curriculum according to their individual needs, interests, and accommodating their learning style and pace. It can also foster self-discipline and responsibility as teens manage their assignments, schedules, and research independently, which are essential skills for success in college and the workforce. 

Exactly, also our highschoolers taking dual enrollment courses in person and our college students taking classes in person at their universities requires them to also be online for exams, discussion boards, and other assignments. It’s essential that they learn to navigate these things. So, if you’re one of those hold-outs on technology, you may want to reconsider all the skills that they are not learning that they will need. 

So let’s talk about how our homeschool highschoolers can effectively use technology as a valuable tool in their homeschooling:

Online Resources: Access educational websites, digital textbooks, and online courses to supplement their learning.

Virtual Classes: Participate in virtual classes and webinars to learn from expert instructors or connect with other homeschooled students. Khan Academy.

Outschool: Outschool offers variety of classes and over 100,000 Interactive Online Classes for every age group from 3 to 18 years.

Outschool is an education platform that connects teachers of any subject with students around the world for a variety of engaging small-group classes online.  It gives kids the opportunity to explore their interests via interactive, live video by experienced, independent educators. Outschool offers variety of classes and over 100,000 Interactive Online Classes for every age group from 3 to 18 years. Find one for you:

  • Arts – Drawing, photography, dance, Theatre, Film, Sewing
  • Coding & Tech – Coding, Video Game Design, Robotics, Engineering, Internet Safety, Animation
  • English – Creative Writing, Grammar, Spelling, Book Club, Essay Writing, Poetry, Literature
  • Health & Wellness – Hygiene, Emotions, Exercise, Mindfulness, Nutrition
  • Life Skills – Cooking, Financial Skills, Study Skills, Social Skills, Critical Thinking
  • Math – Elementary math, Algebra, Numbers, Geometry, Fractions, Calculus, Statistics, Probability
  • Music – Guitar, Piano, Singing, Composers, Music Theory, Composing, Recording
  • Science & Nature – Chemistry, Biology, Zoology, Physics, Astronomy, Anatomy, Marine Biology, Psychology
  • Social Studies – Geography, World History, American History, Anthropology, Economics, Politics
  • World Languages – Spanish, American Sign Language, French, Japanese, Latin, German, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin

E-Libraries: Utilize digital libraries and e-books to access a wide range of reading materials and resources. Libby, Hoopla, Overdrive are all great sites for getting library books. If you are in a rural area with limited selections or struggling with access to banned books you can get access by using other libraries- New York City, Broward County. 

Educational Apps: Explore educational apps that cover a wide range of subjects, making learning engaging and interactive.  

Research: Your teenagers can use the internet for research. Long gone is the card catalog, this is where the research now happens. Although I did teach my kids how to use a card catalog. The Internet has vast amounts of information for research papers, projects, and assignments. One of my favorite resources is the Internet Archive. It’s completely free and available to everyone and has so many resources. It literally has everything and it’s a great place for your kids to access things you thought were long gone. You can also check out the Virtural Card Catalog or Britannica Online.

Collaboration: Collaborate with peers on group projects using online collaboration tools and video conferencing platforms. We are all experts in zoom now, thanks to covid.  Google docs is something I used with my Future City and GEMUN groups for writing a collaborative essay.

Digital Note-Taking: Use note-taking apps and tools to organize and store class notes and assignments. My kids also use shared google docs for notetaking with classmates. 

Learning Management Systems: Some homeschooling programs use learning management systems (LMS) to deliver and manage coursework. Google Classroom, Blackboard, Bright space, canvas are all examples.

STEM Resources: Access online resources and simulations for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. Here are some Online Dissection Resources.

Language Learning: Use language-learning apps and websites to study foreign languages. Having pronunciation built in is brilliant! Duolingo and Mango are favorites.

Coding and Programming: Learn coding and programming skills through online courses and coding platforms. Khan Academy has a lot of resources for free including Hour of Code. MIT has their free software to help teach kids how to program called Scratch. You can also get a lot of these directly from your local library. A lot of them have subscriptions that you just need your library card to login and your account is paid for.

Virtual Field Trips: Take virtual field trips to museums, historical sites, and other locations around the world. Another great thing that came out of covid was access to museum sites. I also always recommend sites, like the Dallas Human Rights museum, for educational resources. Museums and other educational sites always have tons of resources listed for educators, often these include lesson plans or are categorized by age or grade level. I mentioned in a recent episode that I was hanging out online at the Louvre in Paris. I also love wildlife cams. Visit Museums Virtually Online.

Discover a world of wonders without leaving your home! Explore the 30 most captivating online museums

Online Tutors: Seek help from online tutors or educators when needed for specific subjects or topics. 

Digital Portfolios: Create digital portfolios to showcase their work and accomplishments.

Presentations: After high schoolers finish a unit study, we typically think of a research paper to wrap it up. But you can get really creative with this. They can create a digital presentation with PowerPoint or another presentation software or they could even create a blog, a website, or a podcast in lieu of a traditional research paper. 

Time Management Tools: Utilize time management apps and tools to help balance their academic schedule. We both love checklists and things like Trello and Time Finder. The key is to find something that works for your teenager that they are happy to use. They may not use what works best for you. If it’s an app, you may want to also login with the same ID or use a shared app so you can communicate assignment completion that way. Many highschoolers are doing more and more of their own time management. We’re starting to hand off the torch with guidance, of course. 

Those are just some of the cool things tech can offer your homeschool.  Obviously, homeschooled teens should work with their parents to ensure they are using technology in a balanced and responsible manner so keep communicating with them and make sure expectations are clear to everyone.  But don’t be afraid of using technology!  Take advantage of the educational opportunities it offers while managing screen time and online safety. 

Do teenagers need social media? (29:06)

Social media can have both positive and negative impacts on homeschooled teens. On the positive side, social media platforms provide them with opportunities for social interaction and community building. Many teens use social media to connect with peers. It may be friendships, shared hobbies, or even study groups. This can help combat feelings of isolation and ensure that they have a support system in place, even outside of traditional school.  Additionally, social media offers a vast repository of educational resources, like some that we addressed and even educational communities where homeschooled teens can exchange knowledge and seek guidance. These platforms can help teens explore their interests, discover new subjects or hobbies, and even connect with mentors or experts in various fields.

This book written FOR teens on digital citizenship. The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices will help you navigate the digital world with 21 refreshingly honest and humorous tips that will not only inform, but that also just might change the way you think about your social media interaction.

However, the negative aspects of social media really need to be considered. We all know now that excessive use of social media can lead to distractions from responsibilities and impact their academic performance. Cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content are other significant concerns. And we all know that social media can create unrealistic comparisons and peer pressure. That can contribute to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It’s important for parents and teenagers to strike a balance between the benefits and drawbacks of social media, ensuring it is used as a tool for learning, connection, and personal growth while being mindful of its potential pitfalls.

With all of that in consideration, homeschooled teenagers, like their peers in traditional school settings, are going to use social media for a variety of purposes.  For one, social media platforms help them stay in touch with friends and make new connections, combating potential isolation. We’ve moved a lot, but this has allowed us to stay friends.  We also regularly use SM in the sport my kids do. 

Homeschoolers can also participate in virtual clubs and interest-based groups through social media. You can also use it as a platform for showcasing talents, whether in music, art, or other creative pursuits. My 16yo son, Cameron, is a musician and teaches guitar lessons. We built a website for him, but he also has a Facebook and YouTube page where he promotes his music. He also wrote the BTDT Homeschool jingle!

Some homeschool teens use platforms like Pinterest, TikTok, or Instagram to learn new skills, such as cooking, art, or coding.  They may use social media to access educational content, connect with online tutors, or join study groups. We also have a good friend’s teenage daughter those crochets little stuffed animals and has a successful Etsy shop.

They may use social media to stay updated on current events, news, and trends. Some use social media to advocate for causes they’re passionate about or to raise awareness of issues they care about. You just might want to stay away from the comment section. 

Homeschooled teens often seek advice, resources, and support from online communities of homeschooling families and educators just like parents do.  We are on Facebook- but a lot of them aren’t!  But they use other sites just like we do.

Social media can provide an outlet for self-expression through posts, photos, and videos. Some find that negative- talk to your kids about how social media is often showcasing the highlight real and to be realistic about what they see. If you think social media is causing issues with self-esteem or jealousy, by all means restrict it. Sometimes we have to tell this to ourselves too. Especially as homeschoolers because these highlight reels can be really intimidating when everybody else’s kids are doing things that maybe our kids aren’t doing yet. It’s crucial for homeschooling parents and teens to approach technology use with care, finding a balance between the valuable connections and Learning opportunities it offers, while being mindful of the challenges of time management and online safety.

This Week’s Freebie:

Download your Guide to Online Gaming Safely

054. How Do Homeschoolers Transition from Elementary to Middle School?

How Do Homeschoolers Transition from Elementary to Middle School?

Middle school marks a time of intellectual and personal growth, where kids explore a broader range of subjects and develop critical thinking skills. In today’s episode, we’re talking about transitioning from elementary to middle school and how homeschooling offers a unique opportunity to tailor their learning experiences to their individual needs and interests. We’ll be exploring the advantages, strategies, and resources that will empower you in providing a rich and engaging education while nurturing your child’s love for learning and growing independence. 

Episode 054:

1. Click PLAY Button Above ^^ to listen here.
2. OR Listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Brand New to Homeschooling?
Kindergarten Page >>
High School Series >>

Show Notes

We spend a lot of time here talking about our beginners and younger homeschoolers and then even more time focused on our high schoolers and getting them ready for college and beyond, but one group often gets left to the wayside in homeschool discussions, and that’s our middle schoolers!  They are the Jan of this Brady Bunch!

But meanwhile, homeschooling middle schoolers represents a dynamic phase in a child’s educational journey. Many parents realize at this age that traditional school does not fit their child and choose to withdraw and homeschool their child. If this is you, please take some time to check out our Deschooling page. Deschooling is an essential step to successfully homeschool after withdrawing your child and it will help reengage them and reignite their love for learning. And this step is not just for the kids, it’s an important step for the parents too. You’ll spend time reconnecting with your child and figuring out what kind of education you want to provide so if your kids are in an unhealthy environment, pull them out now and start this process. You don’t have to have it all figured out to begin.

Transitioning from elementary to middle school for homeschoolers is a significant step in a child’s educational journey. It marks a shift from more flexible, parent-led learning approaches to a more structured and diverse curriculum. 

How to transition from elementary school to middle school? (4:36)

Here are some key considerations and tips for a smooth transition:

Curriculum Transition

Now is a good time to evaluate your homeschooling curriculum and materials. Middle school typically introduces more or gets more in depth with subjects, such as science, history, and literature. And be sure to consider resources that align with your state’s educational standards. Look up your State’s Homeschool Law

You’ll want to choose age-appropriate materials. You may find that your student who thrived with read-alouds, may want to do more on their own, or that you need additional hands-on activities.  We always caution our younger families not to get too excited about curriculum early and buy ahead several years- what was great in elementary may not suit your family later.  

Planning and Scheduling

Create a clear plan and schedule. Establish daily routines and set realistic goals for academic progress. And this doesn’t have to be super rigid, but a little more structure in your schedule is going to help them develop time management skills.

how long does it take to homeschool

This doesn’t mean suddenly you need a 7-3 schedule.  Remember that homeschooling is still way more efficient, and you can get more done in a day, but you may want to just add in some more structure or increase your time. An average time a homeschool middle schooler spends on formal academics is 1-3 hrs. a day. If we have a big project we are working on, we tend to spend a little more towards 3 hrs., but can usually wrap up school in 1.5 hrs. 

Increase Independence

Encourage your child to take more ownership of their learning. Provide opportunities for them to plan and organize their assignments and study times. This is the age that I introduce the concept of notetaking, and if my kids are taking an outside class, I start to have them show me their notes and teach them how to review notes after class. Middle school is an ideal time for them to develop greater independence in their studies but gently guide them on forming good habits.  

How To Take Great Notes Quickly and Easily is a very easy guide for your middle schooler. (40+ Note Taking Tips for School, Work, Books and Lectures. Cornell Notes Explained and more!

Extracurricular Activities

Explore extracurricular options, such as sports, clubs, and community involvement. These activities can help your child develop social skills, find their interests, and make friends. I had a couple kids that still really liked park days at this age but also a couple that were ready for being dropped at a coffee shop while I took others to the park. Extracurricular Idea Guide.

Field Trips and Real-World Learning

Continue incorporating field trips and hands-on learning experiences. I love this age for field trips! Some of those field trips that your younger kids were too little for are perfect for this age. And these kids benefit from real-world applications of what they’re learning. 100 Homeschool Field Trip Ideas. Also, check out our favorite subscriptions to keep learning engaging.

Technology Integration

Introduce educational technology and digital resources. Middle schoolers may need to become proficient in using computers for research, online classes, and projects. Teach them to use Google docs, PowerPoint. and spreadsheets. A typing program may be handy too and a lot of middle schoolers like to get into gaming and programming, too. Scratch is an awesome free program from MIT.

Individual Learning Styles

Recognize that every child learns differently. Tailor your approach to accommodate their unique learning style and strengths, whether they are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. This goes along with re-evaluating your curriculum that we mentioned above- make sure your choices grow with your child. What is Your Child’s Learning Style?

Communication and Support

Maintain open communication with them. They may have sought a lot of independence, but this is all new and sometimes that can create stress. Address any concerns or anxieties they may have about transitioning to middle school and more independence. Be available to provide guidance and support. 

Seeking Help When Needed

If you find certain subjects challenging to teach or if your child has specific educational needs, consider enlisting the help of tutors or specialized educational programs or outsourcing classes. We both have outsourced classes-math and science, writing classes on Outschool.


Middle school is a time when children often crave more social interaction. Help them connect with friends with similar interests, values, and beliefs by arranging playdates, group activities, and co-op classes with other homeschoolers to build friendships. This is a time of great transition socially and all of these changes can either be nurtured or hindered by peers. Peer Pressure can even happen to homeschoolers, and it can be either positive or negative. In an effort to best handle social pressure, teach them to be assertive by speaking up and telling friends what they like/don’t like. Most homeschoolers don’t have a problem with this. Keep an open dialogue so they feel safe coming to you about situations that they don’t understand and/or that make them feel uncomfortable.

Our FREE download this week (bottom of this page) is a Guide for your tween to help encourage them to make friends and nurture those relationships. We usually make a resource for the homeschool parent but this one is to print out and hand it to your child to help encourage them. This age can be hard and awkward and lonely. Hopefully this resource will help them to reach out and be proactive in finding connections. 

Transitioning Gradually

If your child is apprehensive about the transition, consider a gradual approach, introducing the new middle school curriculum incrementally to ease the adjustment.

This transition from elementary to middle school can be a positive and exciting step in a homeschooler’s education. By being proactive in your approach, providing structure, and maintaining open communication, you can help them navigate this transition with confidence and success.

What academic skills are crucial for middle schoolers? (14:56)

Middle school is a critical stage in a student’s development, where they acquire a wide range of academic, social, and life skills. Below you will find some crucial skills for middle schoolers.

Academic Skills

  • Reading Comprehension: The ability to understand and analyze written text critically.
  • Math Proficiency: A solid foundation in math concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
  • Research Skills: The capacity to conduct research, evaluate sources, and cite information accurately.
  • Problem-Solving: The capability to identify and resolve complex problems effectively.
Achieving success in this more challenging world requires knowing many more words. 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know helps Middle Schoolers to express themselves with distinction and get the most out of their education.
Prepare your child for middle school math with the Middle School Math Practice Workbook. This workbook provides children with comprehensive practice questions that cover a wide range of topics they will encounter in middle school.
The How to Write an Awesome Paragraph Step-by-Step workbook teaches your students how to write a strong paragraph using a foolproof step-by-step process. This book is particularly useful for struggling or special needs students who will welcome the explicit steps which they can re-use each time they need to write a paragraph. The visual supports and incremental practice also build confidence in a wide range of students.

Organization and Time Management

  • Time Management: The skill of managing time efficiently to balance academic work, extracurricular activities, and their personal life.
  • Organization: Keeping track of assignments, materials, and schedules. Also, check out our Top 15 Planner Strategies for Middle School

Critical Thinking

  • The ability to think critically, analyze information, and make informed decisions.
  • Logical Reasoning: The capacity to reason logically and draw valid conclusions.
The Thinking Toolbox is like a toolbox, full of different kinds of tools your child can use for different thinking tasks. Just as you use the wrench in a regular toolbox to fix the sink, so you can use the tools we give you in this book to solve thinking problems.

Communication Skills

  • Effective Writing: The capability to express thoughts and ideas clearly in written form.
  • Oral Communication: The skill of articulating ideas and speaking confidently.
  • Active Listening: The ability to listen and comprehend information during discussions and lectures.
Paragraphs for Middle School: A Sentence-Composing Approach gives students new tools to write mature and varied sentences through imitating models.

Research and Technology

  • Research skills, including online research, source evaluation, and effective use of digital tools.
  • Proficiency with technology, including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software.
  • Information Literacy: The ability to find, evaluate, and use information from various sources critically.

Social and Emotional Skills

Social & Emotional Learning has engaging lessons, strategies, and tips that help students develop self-awareness and manage social challenges so they can navigate middle school and focus on academics.
  • Empathy: The ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others.
  • Conflict Resolution: Skills for resolving disputes and conflicts peacefully.
  • Self-Awareness: Developing an understanding of one’s emotions and reactions.
  • Resilience: The capacity to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to challenges.
  • Cultural and Global Awareness: Developing an understanding of diverse cultures, perspectives, and global issues. We’ve used Universal Yums to do this for years.
Universal Yums has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool. My kids have learned so much about different regions and people from all over the world! Get a new country every month.

Study Skills

  • Effective study habits, including notetaking, summarization, and test preparation techniques.
  • Time management for studying and completing assignments.
Learning How to Learn has empowered more than two million learners from around the world to master subjects that they once struggled with. These learning strategies reveal how to make the most of time spent studying. This book is filled with illustrations, application questions, and exercises, this book makes learning easy and fun.

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Working effectively with peers on group projects and in team-based activities. Future City Competition is one of our favorite Middle School group activity – you can win cash prizes!

Health and Wellness

  • Basic knowledge of nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging physical activity, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep. Teach them about the importance of self-care and well-being. Learn more in Episode 051. Homeschool PE, Health, and Sex Ed. Download Free Fitness Dice!

Teaching and reinforcing these skills during the middle school years can significantly enhance a student’s academic success and overall development, preparing them for the challenges of high school and beyond.

How to care for tweens? (21:43)

Caring for tweens, who are typically children aged 9 to 12, involves a combination of emotional support, guidance, and age-appropriate boundaries. Tread carefully!  Some parents really find these years hard while some think it’s a breeze. Remember that our mantra is always “all kids are different!” And you get all that extra time to really know your kids.  Maintain open and non-judgmental communication with your tween. Encourage them to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Listen actively and provide a safe space for them to talk. 

1. Recognize their growing need for independence and autonomy

Encourage them to take on responsibilities, make decisions, and learn from their experiences. You want to respect their independence. While respecting their autonomy, establish clear rules and expectations. Discuss consequences for breaking rules and consistently enforce them. But also reevaluate them when something is not working. Not everybody would agree with this, but I like to collaborate with my kids when establishing these rules and expectations. And they are more likely to follow them when they’ve had a hand in creating them.

Positive Discipline for Teenagers shows parents how to build stronger bridges of communication with their children, break the destructive cycles of guilt and blame that occur in parent-teen power struggles, and work toward greater mutual respect with their adolescents.

2. Guide them in developing problem-solving skills.

Help them analyze situations, weigh pros and cons, and make informed decisions.

3. Discuss the importance of healthy friendships and how to navigate peer pressure

Offer guidance on resolving conflicts and making good friend choices. Discuss healthy communication with peers, including listening, expressing themselves clearly, and resolving conflicts constructively. Emphasize the values of respect, responsibility, and integrity in their interactions with others. Get your FREE Teen Healthy Relationship E-guide.

4. Pay attention to their emotional well-being

Help them manage stress, anxiety, and emotions by teaching coping strategies and offering emotional support.

Middle school can be one of the hardest times of life for many young people. Tweens, Tough Times, and Triumphs is full of information and an absolute necessity for anyone homeschooling the middle grades.

5. Support and nurture their interests and hobbies

Provide opportunities for them to explore various activities and find their passions.

6. Foster a love for reading

Provide access to a variety of books. Discuss what they read and encourage them to explore different genres. 

7. Educate them about personal safety, both online and offline

Discuss topics like stranger danger, internet safety, and emergency procedures. Set reasonable limits on screen time and ensure that they engage in a balance of activities, both online and offline.

One service that I’ve used for years is called QUSTODIO. When my kids first got devices around middle school age, I really struggled with online safety and protection, and I eventually found this great tool that allows me to monitor apps and websites from my phone. I can even see what websites they visit and block sites from my phone! As they’ve gotten older, I’ve dialed back the monitoring as they have learned online safety but if you’re struggling with this, I would highly recommend this.

Keep your kids safe online:
Learn more about Qustodio>>

8. Make time for family activities and bonding

This strengthens the family unit and provides a sense of security and belonging. Caring for tweens involves striking a balance between fostering their independence and providing the necessary guidance and support to help them navigate the challenges of adolescence. Adapt your parenting approach to meet the unique needs and personality of your tween, recognizing that each child is different and may require different types of care and support.

This Week’s Freebie:

Give your child the tools to make and nurture meaningful friendships: Download your FREE Tween Friendship Guide (pdf)
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