We recently had a live Facebook chat on the LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com page designed to be a Q&A for high school homeschooling parents and students. One of the questions that came up from a parent was how to get their teen more motivated toward homeschooling and toward their future.
My answer was a simple one. If you want a teen to be motivated, you have to give over some of the educational reins to him or her. I recommend starting small - - especially if you've been doing all the educational planning and decisions up till now. Choose one course that the teen is currently taking or will soon be taking and let her decide what curriculum she wants to use. Talk with her about what she wants to get out of the class. Have discussions on why the subject will benefit her in the future.
Then, you can progress to doing this for a full semester of coursework. Have your teen lay out his own plans for what coursework he'd like to cover and what he'd like to gain from it. If your teen's curricula is a given already (as in the case of a teen attending virtual school), then sit down with him and talk about how he would like to tackle the work. What flexibility can you give him on when to accomplish it, where he can accomplish it, and how?
Another way to get a teen engaged in his or her education is to have them "map out" their future a bit. You might want to use a tool like LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com's free ebook for teens. Download it and let your teen spend some time working through it and thinking over what she really wants to get out of a homeschool education or what he feels passionate enough about to pursue after graduation.
Motivation is often found in equal portion with involvement. Make efforts toward getting your teen more involved with his or her educational choices, and it's likely that you will see more motivation quickly follow.
Kerry -- one of your LHSHS admins