Simple Steps to Preventing High School Burnout
How do you go about preventing burnout in your high school students?
Helping your teen stay off the burnout train in high school is a task that will test many home educating parents.
As you transition into the high school years from middle school, it’s important to remember that your teen is used to you being there for them guiding them through their studies and in the high school years things tend to become much more burdensome for your student as the attempt to keep track of all they are juggling on their plate.
Here are some suggestions that have worked well in my homeschool with my teens and how we avoided the inevitable high school burnout (for the most part) by staying on track and collaborating along the way.
- Stay on Track With Daily/Weekly Check-Ins
- Discuss & Collaborate
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Stay on Track With Daily/Weekly Check-Ins
I like to make a connection with my teens everyday. Whether it’s just a casual chat at the kitchen counter about what’s planned for the day ahead, or a lengthier discussion about a particular subject or topic they are working through.
A daily meeting is a great way to have a quick check in and start your day and your teen’s day rolling successfully. Here are some things to consider for your meeting time:
- What’s on your agenda today?
- How do you feel about your schedule this week?
- Do you have any questions about assignments that I have given you (or that we collaborated on)?
- Are there any assignments, quizzes or tests due in an online/outside class? If so, what should you do to prepare?
- Can I do anything to help ensure you get everything done today that you would like to accomplish?
A weekly meeting is a nice way to wrap up the end of the week and is more of a round up:
- Discuss all aspects of your teen’s day to day.
- Take notes so you can refer back to your discussion later if need be.
- What areas are they struggling?
- Ask how you can assist them to keep moving forward?
- Did they complete all their assignments to their (and your) satisfaction.
- Ask them to share the best part of their week. (It may not be school related, and that’s okay)
- Are they going to need to work on anything over the weekend to catch up?
Discuss & Collaborate
Having engaging and collaborative discussions with your high school student is a great way to ensure excitement and motivation throughout the grueling high school years.
As a home educating parent, we want to be able to help inspire and create a desire to achieve success in a way that is motivating for our teen. Because we have so many choices at our disposal, asking your teen to join in the planning process and collaborating with you is essential. This is beneficial for you both as you can act as your student’s “trail guide,” as well as allowing your student to truly take ownership of their high school education.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a term, quarter or semester, only to realize your student is only partially done with that semester’s work. Or that they didn’t really like the class, but failed to connect with you on how things were going. Worse yet, leaving all the hard work, like research papers, or essays to the last minute due to procrastination or dislike of the material, only to churn it out poorly in a rush to “get it over and done with.”
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Be there for your high school student.
Be engaged when you are having weekly meetings, discussing classes, helping them to make decisions. Nothing is more irritating to a teen if you are distracted when they are trying to talk with you. (Just like it is for parents when kids are constantly on their device and not really listening to us).
The task of keeping current with your high school student and having regular discussions about where they are at with their coursework, the material that they are covering, and just good old fashioned dialogue is essential.
Whatever your preferred method, be it the Socratic model, having debates, casual discussions, or the weekly check in meeting – the chain of communication must be present for the success of both the high school student and the parent.
Make sure to build in plenty of FUN into your teen’s week. High school is HARD!
There’s no reason to leave fun out of your student’s life just because they are working toward graduation.
Go outside – Play together – Cook or Bake together – Make sure that they have an outlet for relieving stress by being active or creative outside of their daily school tasks.
Help your high school student build margin in their day for the things that interest them the most.
By trying some of these easy ideas to help your teen stay the course you will be on the right road to preventing high school burnout.