By Dr. Ronald Johnson, PAC http://www.pacworks.com/

Most mothers of teenagers are between age 35 and 50. They have three or less children, of which at least one is a teenager going through puberty, and is prone to challenge parental authority as he or she tries to figure out what life is all about. Moreover, many parents do not connect the dots when asking “What is happening to my children; they are exhibiting attitudes and character which I certainly didn’t teach them!”

Attitudes, self-discipline, and character are learned behaviors. How teenagers act and talk is a product of how they are trained. Contemporary parents realize that the public school system is spending more time training their adolescents than parents are. Children who attend a brick and mortar school spend at least seven hours each day being trained by teachers who observe students’ expressions, choices, and behavior. Consequently, most teenagers are being taught (shaped) by adults other than parents. Additionally, homework assignments add to teachers’ influence.

Meanwhile, most mothers who work outside the home (and that involves most mothers) are so busy after five o’clock preparing dinner and giving attention to hubby, that little attention is given to teenagers, who are likely focused on digital devices, rather than working with mom to learn how to prepare a family meal.

A parent recently commented, “I became concerned when my teenager stared at the dinner plate, became easily distracted, broke out in hives, and snapped at me or her father over little things. So, I planned a time to let my daughter talk about school. What I discovered alarmed me; she was being bullied by a gender-confused peer, and a teacher was abusive.” Fortunately, that parent said, “Enough is enough!” The mother withdrew her daughter, and began to homeschool. In just a matter of days, the daughter became cordial, communicative, and studious.

Before withdrawing her daughter from public school, the mother took time to review the books her daughter brought home for homework. What she discovered weighed heavily on her decision to homeschool. Both parents were horrified to discover that the daughter’s textbooks were not like public school textbooks which the parents had when they were in school. Most contemporary textbooks teach that evolution is a fact, that the Founding Fathers were sexists, traditional family values are inappropriate, and that capitalism is evil. Moreover, most school counselors are trained to guide students to embrace state policies, even though such policies may contradict parental values and authority.

Tragically, most parents don’t know what they don’t know about education. Most school classes of 50 minutes contain less than 17 minutes of actual academic focus; much of the classroom time is interrupted by announcement from the office, devoted to sharing opinions, or addressing discipline issues: talking, sitting on laps, texting, arguing, or other distractions. That is often why students are assigned multiple pages of homework; the teachers are required to “cover” the state academic syllabus over which students will be tested at the end of the school year.

Even though parents may realize just how bad some public school have become, family circumstances often persuade parents to keep their teenagers in public school rather than “bite the bullet” to homeschool. Mothers between 35-45 may feel that they have given personal time to raising their children and “giving” to the needs of other people, thus they think, “Now is my time.” Or, husbands and wives believe that a two-income family will enable a better lifestyle, therefore public school is considered to be a convenient “baby-sitter” from 8 to 5.

Such parents sometimes resort to “buying” their teenager’s affection through designer gifts, electronic gadgets, and/or involvement in sports or other extra-curricular activities that keep kids busy. Or, parents are literally overwhelmed by adolescent challenges, and simply do not know how to deal with puberty, rebellion, and “back-talk”. They would rather let teachers deal with the “stuff” of teenage years. But, the consequences are often heartbreaking.

Tragically, the older teenagers get while being trained by adults other than parents, the more difficult it becomes for parents to guide their teenagers to demonstrate moral character, academic competency, civility, and lofty aspirations. Children were created to be shaped, guided, and affirmed by responsible parents…not strangers cloistered in government classrooms. The longer parents postpone assumption of responsibility for training their children, the more fragile family life becomes. Frustration breeds arguments that lead to fractured marriages and families.

Certainly, homeschool in itself will not prevent family squabbles, but it can resolve a lot of frustrations with teenagers who need consistent parental guidance, affirmation, and discipline while sorting out issues of life in the midst of turbulent adolescence.

Fortunately, Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC) produces self-instructional courses laced with traditional values, wholesome perspectives of the Founding Fathers, science that does not postulate evolutionary theory as fact, and communication skills that prepare students for life in careers, homes, military service, or college. Each course is available in print or digital format, and packaged for independent learning that frees parents from teaching or lesson planning. Each PAC course can be completed by teenagers who work at a kitchen table, on a couch, or even a porch swing with very little dependence on adult proctors. In fact, PAC courses can be completed by students anywhere, anytime, whether or not in the presence of parents, who prefer to work outside the home.

In effect, PAC frees homeschool mothers to give attention to younger children who require face-to-face teaching, or to allow teenagers “space” to grow up, or learn from parents how to manage a home, build a special project, study a favorite topic, or go to mom for advice rather than be persuaded by peers or teachers at school. Remember, teenagers are learning from someone. Parents are usually the best “someones” to train youth to become responsible adults. RJ