Getting our teens motivated is definitely one of the main concerns of parenting in this age. Yet, sometimes I wonder if we, as parents, inadvertently do things that rob our teens of their motivation. I know no parent would do this on purpose, but I think there are a few things we do (myself included) that tend to extinguish the motivation that we so desperately seek.
- We take all control of their high school planning.
When we don't allow our students to have some independence in choosing their course of study in high school we can suck the motivation to do well right out of them. "Why study when it's all stuff my mom wants to learn?" Have a talk about what they love to do, what they enjoy learning about, and then create a high school plan together that showcases their strengths.
- We don't allow them to choose courses or type of curriculum.
As a long term homeschooler, I've learned what curriculum works and what doesn't. It's easy for me to just order what I think will work. However, that doesn't promote my high schooler's independence. You see, if we want them to be motivated to learn then they need to have a hand in the choices that are made. An easy way to guide these choices is to present your teen with several options. I typically start with what our state requires for high school graduation, and then offer a few course options that would fulfill each of those requirements. My teen can then see the big picture of our accountability to the state, while getting to choose the curriculum/courses that he/she wants to study that will fit his/her learning style.
Teens want to understand the reasons behind why they must do something. This is why giving your teen ownership in some areas of their high school studies is a great way to incite motivation in the long term.
Jamie @ Let's Homeschool High School