MASH 2020 Homeschool Conference – The Joy of Homeschooling Teens

Veteran homeschoolers share their experiences and insights on homeschooling through the teenage years.

Did you blink your eyes one day only to find yourself homeschooling someone taller than you? Congratulations, you’re now the parent of a teenage homeschooler. The breed is fairly rare and, if given plenty of food and the right blend autonomy and support, can make a wonderful companion! In this session, veteran homeschooling parents share their experiences of homeschooling cool people through adolescence.

Panelists: Roxie Ateah, Marilyn Firth, & Deanna Momtchilov

Roxie Ateah writes: I’m a mixed nations decolonized person, advocate, healer, & educator. I’m a hereditary homeschooler and unschooler. Both my grandmother & mother were homeschooled throughout their lives, and from them, I have always been exposed to & encouraged to access different modalities of learning. I’ve homeschooled our 6 children who are now all adults ages 39-19 years. The eldest 4 experienced public school in alternative education classrooms, but when the public school failed them I homeschooled them. Our youngest 2 have been homeschooled without grade levels from the beginning. We’ve homeschooled both in the inner city & east beaches area. I teach via decolonized & what would be considered alternative child spirit acknowledged learning. Our children have different occupations. Some have attended university & colleges, others have not. I continue to teach my 4 grandchildren in the same way. I decided very early on in the nurturing & education of our children to decolonize.

Deanna Momtchilov is mom to four children, the oldest of whom will graduate this year! She currently navigates homeschooling her younger two in elementary and her older two in high school, while they also pursue their passions in acting and dance.

Marilyn Firth, with her husband Bruce Berry, provided home learning for their three sons for over 20 years, from early childhood through the high school years. While their style was initially quite structured, they soon switched to unschooling as their home learning style, supporting the interests of their sons by providing resources and mentorship. They are opposed to standardized testing and value discussion, debate, and critical thinking over rote learning. Their sons, Noel, Liam, and Graeme are now adults and successfully engaged in career paths in computer game development, music composition and teaching, and electricity, respectively.