Spirituality and religious beliefs are, for many families, a key part of their children’s growth and development. When considering the options for a child’s spiritual growth and development, many families are turning to home schooling or private schools as a way in which to incorporate personal growth into intellectual and academic growth.
For children ages 11 through 14, the impact of personal growth, in terms of beliefs and spiritual growth, may be most significant. As the parent of a child who falls within this age group, there is no doubt you understand the impact growth and development, in terms of personal interests and spirituality may have on your child’s self esteem, identity and maturity.
Because tweens and teens, between ages 11 and 14, are making the transition from childhood to adulthood, they will often face crisis and choices that were not presented to them in childhood. Seeking to identify with their peer groups, it may be quite easy for your child to be encouraged or influenced into abnormal or maladaptive behaviors. It is at this age group that identity confusion and identity achievement take place. It is also at this time that the spirituality and belief you have instilled in your child may be most useful in their formation of their own identity.
When considering your child’s education in this age group, it is important to understand not only the impact academic achievement will have upon their long term development, but also the impact their peer groups and spiritual development will have. When in settings that are not well managed, tweens and teens between age 11 and age 14 often find they have an overwhelming need to seek out peer groups they can relate to and, when those peer groups can not be easily found, they often will modify their own behavior to conform. In an educational setting where morals, beliefs and spirituality are connected, many tweens and teens find they can adapt more readily to the changes presented to them.
In contrast, placing your child into home schooling or into private schooling may not always produce the best results. If you are considering this option, especially for children between ages 11 and 14, you will want to be sure there is enough encouragement and support so that your child learns to accept their own shortcomings and inadequacies. Placing your child into an environment where they rarely fail to fit in, or rarely fail to achieve some academic curriculum, may result in a child that not well adapted to the struggles of life outside of the private school or home school setting.
Whatever your decision with regard to your child’s educational curriculum, it is important to understand that the age group from 11 to 14 poses the greatest challenge for parents and their tweens and teens. It is during this maturity process that children begin to seek identity and network with peer groups. With a strong spiritual background, your child can be encouraged to make the right decisions.