Guide Your Young Adult (14 - 18 year old) to Discover his/her God Given Potential

Throughout all the phases a total view of spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social development should be kept in mind.

This phase should be the final guidance in your child’s life where your input direct him/her to follow his/her life path.

It is important to realize that you should be only a guide now. Hopefully by this time your young adult has had enough positive input to know how to learn and how to get wisdom.

The end goal of this phase is to have your young adult leave home mature enough to make his/her own wise decisions in life.

Primary goals for this stage

1.  Continue with a planned academic Course of Study independently

2.  At about 15/16 yrs of age, make a decision on a Qualification option and choose an appropriate curriculum provider for this formal Qualification.

3. Still read good literature and keep Reading Record.

4. Still actively involved and participating in family activities

5. Evidence of healthy independence, self-responsibility and moral accountability.

Ideas and concepts for this stage

Good, regular communication is essential to this relationship. And for the most time the parent must be the listener – trying to discern the heart of the matter behind the words.

teens picture

Allow your child to just be, and not always having to perform.

Be involved in their lives, activities and what they do. Although in home schooling the young adult may already be working so independently that you may be tempted to do other things, still stay interested and evaluate progress as you did in the younger years.

Do not assume that things happen just because the young adult can do it alone – check whether it happens.

This is the time to give them the opportunity to discover themselves – don’t prescribe and enforce your ideas.

Be available and surround them with good quality literature, ideas and concepts but allow them to go through the learning process themselves – to make it their own.

Remember that values are caught more than taught, so your life model will be what young adults look at and copy if worthwhile.

Ensure that you WALK YOUR TALK – now more than ever!

Young adults have a fine sense of discernment for hypocrisy and they do not like it.

If there are issues in your life that is not sorted out, sort it our for yourself for the benefit of yourself and your children. They will appreciate and learn from this as well.

Finally – remember to BE REAL.

The Qualification Focus Needed Now

I believe that nowhere in the world one should just trust any qualification, without making absolutely sure that this is what is best for your child depending on the path he/she would like to continue on after school.

It is the parents’ personal responsibility to check what and which type of qualifications institution accepts as valid, to ensure that your child has adequate time to obtain that specific qualification by the time it will be required.

A homeschooling dad (and university lecturer) I know once said,

"A good education is the most important thing because with it one can always get a qualification at any time, but no qualification can guarantee a good education.“

For high school this is still true, and parents will again be challenged to consider and define what a good education means for them.

Some Practical Implications During Later High School Years

Before Grade 10 level (about 16 years of age) consider what the child is planning to do after school. This is meant in general terms and not too specific, as most young people at this age are still very unsure and that is normal.

The idea is to think ahead to be able to plan for the best – there are many options (some can be planned, some may just happen).

  • Study further? Where? What? Why?
  • Enter the workforce? Where? How? Why? With whom?
  • Learn a trade? - Where? When? How?
  • Pursue a professional sporting career or music vocation?
  • Build a business? Or even get married and start a family?
  • Work in a family business or farm?

Whatever the options, senior high school is the time to prepare for life after school, including a career/vocation or business.

Also remember that it does not end at 18/19 years of age, there is always the right time to do things, and for some it takes a little longer than for others.

High school should also be the time to discover and develop talents which may be used in future whether as part of a career or vocation or not.

As is true in the junior years, life is still the curriculum with the variety of life experiences (academic, social, sport, life skills, business, etc.) it can offer – make use of it whenever you can. 

But as we have all experienced in real life, not everything works out as one wishes it to be, so there might be things to leave for later, and others to concentrate on now.

Do not worry too much about every little detail, just keep on doing what you experience is the next step you should be doing.

Always have peace in your heart about whatever you and your child decide.

Read more on Qualifications options in South Africa in Homeschooling Guide on Home Education in South Africa.

Books I have found helpful during this stage

(Available in South Africa at LOOT or otherwise at AMAZON)

  3. BOUNDARIES WITH CHILDREN, Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Babies and preschooler

Beginner Foundation

Child Intermediate

Young Adult

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