10 - 13 Years Old
Homeschooling Tweens +
Time for the ups and downs!
Developmentally, tweens have one foot in childhood and one foot in adolescence. They develop at different paces from one another and grow in fits and starts. Tweens need a sense of competence, industry and a belief that they are good, able, and accepted by others. Accepting themselves is the first step, and this can be a challenge when so much about the self is changing. Being a part of a kind, accepting, safe community, homeschooled tweens can feel unconditional acceptance while they wrestle with the natural physical, emotional, and relational shifts in their worlds. They need a sense of: "We've got you," and "We'll do these changes together."
The tween years can be dramatic when children begin to look to their peers to work out their needs, not just their parental attachment bonds. Differing attachment systems in different families bump into each other and children experiment with ways to be in friendships, ways to resolve negative feelings, ways do demonstrate affection for one another. Thus communication between parents is essential.
If your child has homeschooled "from scratch," perhaps there are already friendships in place from the elementary years. If you're entering the homeschool world from another schooling environment, it can seem overwhelming to try to find friendships and avoid tween isolation that might push you back into an institutional educational environment. Joining social pods in AnySchoolers is a first step towards connection and safety with others, even if building friendships is harder with older kids. Joining in to play events where there are shared experiences (camping, paintballing, watching movies, gaming, for example) builds comradry and history between tweens (and teens)!