Anxiety is real. In fact, 1 in 20 children ages 6–17 years old frequently experience severe levels of anxiety.
For a student facing anxiety, traditional school can become overwhelming. There are facing crowds, dealing with drama, dreading tests, fearing to ask for help, the list goes on.
While it’s by no means a cure, homeschool and independent study could be a good solution for these teens.
Studying from the comfort of home
Sometimes, anxiety is debilitating enough that it causes teens not to be able to leave the house. With Elite, staying at home doesn’t impact a student’s ability to learn. So, if the student is having a bad day, there is a potential for them to still do work. If they can’t, they have the ability to work with teachers to catch back up within the week.
Personalized support from teachers, counselors and advisors
Asking a teacher for help can be intimidating. There’s the fear of looking dumb or even just having to talk in front of a classroom.
Independent study and homeschool students find the lack of a physical classroom much appealing because they ask questions through email, phone calls and instant messaging. If they need extra support, the teacher can hold a 1-1 online session.
Socializing with classmates looks different
Digital natives are most comfortable connecting with friends online. Social media is integrated with their lives.
So clearly, if there is a safe way for these students to connect, wouldn’t that be their preferred method?
Students at Elite come from different walks of life. That opens opportunities to meet people. They also connect through digital class discussions, staff-monitored chats and student clubs. If they’d like, there are school events to attend in-person as well.
It’s quite a different method of making friends that we believe alleviates a lot of the traditional high school drama.
How to help your child manage anxieties with school
Be open with it
Talk to teachers and school counselors. They can’t help if they don’t know. Maybe math makes your child anxious, let them know! Maybe it’s the synchronous sessions, communicate that. Together, you can create baby steps to start accomplishing goals.
Modify your life
Oftentimes, an anxious student will want to limit themselves. Don’t let them limit, simply modify. If you were to take, say, your non-service dog out, you probably wouldn’t go to a fancy restaurant. That doesn’t mean you have to be confined. There are several places you can go with your furry friend: dog park, walks, even some food places.
Anxiety is similar. There will be things that feel like limitations, but you can help your student find ways to modify their life to manage anxiety. If you’re unsure, you have guidance counselors who can help.
Don’t isolate yourself or stop engaging
There might be days where your child can’t leave home, and that’s OK. Just try not to let that be a constant thing. Isolating yourself can lead to depression. It’s going to be difficult, but try and find ways where they can engage with others.
Maybe all your student can do is log in to synchronous sessions and type one message for the class to see. That’s OK; baby steps are key.
There are student clubs available at Elite as well. Have them try joining one of those, talk with students online and then work into meeting students in person.
Remember, you both have an opportunity to start fresh. Start with Elite.
Let it simply be a part of you that you manage daily
It’s truly OK to be anxious or to have anxiety. We all feel that from time to time. If your child is someone who frequently experiences high levels of anxiety, just treat it as something you have to manage daily.
We can help you overcome barriers
Elite has several students who came in order to overcome obstacles. Don’t let them stop you from earning your high school diploma. Whether you have to work, have a medical illness, are a teen parent or you went through trials that forced you to drop out, we can help. Don’t just take it from us; see the stories of some of our students below.
One Elite student who overcame barriers
“I have severe social anxiety and it makes it really hard for me to be in crowds, full classrooms, and full hallways. It’s hard for me to focus in class when there is so much going on around me and I get severely nervous. I became interested in homeschool because I felt my home was the best place for me since I know my family and they know what I’m struggling with.” – Samantha Q.
Please note: this article is not a medical diagnosis, nor are the tips provided above a cure. If you feel your child is experiencing signs or symptoms of anxiety, seek the help of a medical professional.