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Join us at our upcoming speaking engagements:

January 13, 2018: Family Homeschool Connections (Richmond, VA)—Diane Kummer

January 13, 2018: CHEC High School and Beyond (Castle Rock, CO)—Carol Becker

January 27, 2018: Forsyth Home Educators (Winston-Salem, NC)—Carol Becker

April 12-14, 2018: MACHE (Rochester, MN)—Diane Kummer

April 19-21, 2018: CAPE (Albuquerque, NM)—Diane Kummer

April 27-28, 2018: NCHEA (NE)—Carol Becker


Don’t miss our informative new e-books, now available from the HSLDA Store!



Develop a Plan for High School is the first in a three-book series by Carol Becker and Diane Kummer, HSLDA High School Consultants. This e-book covers how to choose courses, assign high school credits, evaluate coursework, and improve time management for you and your high school student.


Simplify Your Recordkeeping and Transcript is the second in a three-book series by Carol Becker and Diane Kummer, HSLDA High School Consultants. This e-book covers in-depth details on both recordkeeping and transcripts.


Recorded events

Not able to attend one of Carol or Diane’s high school events? HSLDA’s recorded event High School at Home: Turning Possibility into Reality features sessions on developing a high school plan, creating transcripts, charting a course for post-high school plans, and more—with lots of encouragement! Purchase it at the HSLDA Store.

HSLDA student art contest now accepting entries

Five Ways to Show Respect for Your Teen

Dear Friends, December 7, 2017

How quickly we have come to the end of 2017! Amid planning for family gatherings, enjoying seasonal traditions, and celebrating Christmas, you might find this is a good time to reflect on various aspects of this transformational year.

One area we encourage you to consider is respect. However, we’re not referring to how well your teen respects you, but rather how well you respect your teen, because your daily example has a far greater influence on your teen than you might realize.

1. Show teens respect with your words and actions

To many teens, the words I love you seem empty if not backed up by words of respect and actions that demonstrate I respect you. How you speak to your teen can be even more important than what you have to say. Body language, eye contact, countenance, demeanor, tone of voice, timing, word choice, and location matter greatly. Teens discover by how you communicate just how much you love and respect them. This in turn gives them a sense of their value to you. Even if many parents understand that unconditional love should be a free gift, the idea of giving unconditional respect to teens can seem foreign. Showing respect to your teen can actually generate your teen’s respect in return.

2. Give respect by relating

With school winding down for the holidays, now is a good time to reconnect with your teen. While some enjoy a long talk over coffee or a shopping excursion, other teens find it easier to relate when parents take part in a favorite activity. During relaxed times, you can better understand your teen’s state of mind by asking fun questions and sharing some relatable—yet surprising!—events from your own adolescence.

Your 14-year-old son or daughter may find it disarming to be introduced to the 14-year-old version of yourself. As appropriate, recall stories from your past that are embarrassing, funny, awkward, adventurous, or memorable because these can make you more approachable and help your teen feel closer to you. Although some stories are just funny, others might be a means to relate some hard-earned wisdom from firsthand experience. Making your own actions, words, or mistakes the subject of a discussion is far less intimidating than directly broaching a sensitive area in which your teen feels vulnerable. This is the heart and soul of discipleship. In addition, your transparency shows respect for your teen’s growing maturity.

3. Demonstrate respect by affirmation

This season, write down reasons why your teen is both special to you and important to your family. Certainly draw from your teen’s talents, abilities, interests, and passions, but remember to list important intangibles such as kindness, contentment, patience, empathy, integrity, honesty, loyalty, self-control, courage, and perseverance. Even better, list specific instances when your teen has demonstrated one or more of these traits.

If constructing this list seems challenging right now, pray for wisdom to better observe your teen in the coming weeks. Seek to catch him or her doing something commendable, such as helping others, serving generously, responding quickly, showing consideration, extending forgiveness, offering mercy, or defending someone’s honor. Then write down what you see.

Resolve to share this list with your teen over the coming months. He or she especially needs regular affirmation and praise because so much changes in a teen’s world. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual rollercoaster of the teen years is exhausting and erodes self-confidence. Your willingness to name areas of strength and reassure in areas of uncertainty shows respect for the young adult emerging from the awkward teenager.

4. Express respect with empathy

Sibling rivalry, economic reality, hectic schedules, academic pressures, family responsibilities, and the rhythms of normal family life affect teens in different ways. Sometimes they can roll with the punches, but other times you may notice your teen becoming distant from you or not caring to participate in family activities. Take time to draw your teen aside to discover where he or she feels lost, lonely, displaced, hurt, awkward, embarrassed, or unappreciated. Your ability to listen carefully to better understand your teen’s point of view is essential.

Some problems can be resolved with your counsel and wisdom, but other problems need a compassionate ear and understanding heart because there may be no immediate resolution. When your teen feels understood and known by you, he or she stops feeling like an outsider. This often relieves emotional tensions, restores avenues of communication, and resets a teen’s perspective on life. Listening to truly understand and know your teen instead of concentrating on fixing a problem shows respect for your teen’s God-given personality.

5. Bolster respect by providing vision

Without vision, the people perish, and teens are no exception. Parents can reinforce respect for teens by taking steps to guide them toward preparing for their future vocations. In the early years of high school, begin discussing how your teen’s strengths build a framework for his or her future. Remarking on strengths you can name powerfully increases confidence and motivation in your teen, especially when the future seems too far away to grasp. Remember that the future is exciting yet intimidating to a teen! Your emphasis on character traits and interests rather than academic training and ability shows that inner qualities are more important than outward accomplishments. No matter your teen’s future vocation, others will look for and respect his leadership, responsibility, dependability, and integrity.

Pray for wisdom and discernment as you discuss your teen’s future. This isn’t the time to persuade your teen into a specific course of action. Instead, discuss the core values that you agree on and enlist your teen’s aid to navigate with you the shallows and deeps along the way. Envisioning a special future that takes into account God-given strengths shows respect for your teen and his or her unique calling.

Respect can motivate, empower, and encourage teens as they make preparations and transition to thrive in the adult world. Join us next year, when we will discuss how busy homeschooling parents can make time for themselves.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Carol Becker and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants