What to do, highschooler with no drive...Help!

Find out how to handle homeschooling through high school and college prep!

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What to do, highschooler with no drive...Help!

Postby mom4 » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:48 pm

Hi, I am new and I will try to keep this short. I am homeschooling all 4 of my kids, 17, 15, 12, 7. We have done traditional type school to curriculum based to the 'unschooled' technique currently. There have been some hard times that have led to the unschooled approach. We have always hs. My oldest dd is my biggest concern, she seems to have no interest in academics or in expanding her horizons so she can get to one of our local community colleges. I have researched the requirements, placement testing etc. She half heartedly practices them or researches them online and with the books I buy. She has no confidence is what I suspect, though she very heatedly denies that. She is probably behind in her junior year level. I am not sure what approach to take!! She is very opposed to going to highschool and doesn't follow up with anything I present to her to help her move forward. We have done the freak out, panic stuff and strict penalty if....type stuff too. She isn't very fond of reading, prefers to listen to books on tape and does 'get' math concepts quickly, just has to be 'her' way! We currently are using a math tutor once a week.

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Re: What to do, highschooler with no drive...Help!

Postby Theodore » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:00 pm

You could try online courses, which supply the regular teacher interaction and demands for her to produce, without the cost of a tutor. Maybe Scholars Online Academy? They offer online chats with the teacher and students once or twice a week, which is probably what you're looking for.

Homeschool co-op courses are also an option - generally no entrance requirements (except for whatever the group requires for membership), and relatively cheap, and she'll have to answer to someone besides you. Quality can vary a lot on these, however, so you'll want to look at who is doing the teaching.

If she likes using the computer, a third option is to password protect it on startup, so you have to type in a password before she can use it. Then assign her maybe 3-4 hours of homework per day, and make sure she's done all of it before letting her on the computer. If she works hard and carefully, she can get it all done quite quickly and play; if not, the computer stays off. The same sort of rules would apply to the Playstation, or whatever she does for fun.

Whichever method you use, she may not enjoy it at first, but it'll go a lot easier once she gets into the habit. 90% of the effort is getting started, as I know myself from personal experience, and the work itself isn't usually that painful.

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Re: What to do, highschooler with no drive...Help!

Postby Ramona » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:53 pm

What are her interests? What does she spend her free time doing? What things in life in general motivate her? Could her education at this point be tailored around directing her interests toward prep for a particular career?


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Postby Katharos » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:13 pm

I say sign her up for a few community colleges classes. Even better, is there a university near your home that would let you daughter audit a course free of charge? I will be attending college in the fall, and that is what I did last year. I audited an intermediate-level language course, and I found the professors, coupled with the intensity of the course and the very bright students, to be a motivation for me. It was almost as is I was pushing myself to be a good as everyone else, trying to prove to myself that I could do well. After that, I realized that I have a keen interest in the (relatively esoteric) area, and I would like to major in it and continue on with 300s in the fall. Having you daughter take a course like the one I took might have the same effect on her as it did on me.

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Re: What to do, highschooler with no drive...Help!

Postby Paula Kosin » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:29 pm

Ramona wrote: Could her education at this point be tailored around directing her interests toward prep for a particular career? Ramona

I am new to this forum, so am just reading this topic. Ramona is very much on the right track. Motivation should be a "pull" toward a career or occupational choice rather than figuring out how to "push" a high school or college aged (or twenty-something) child.
How to create that "pull"? There are four keys to making great career choices (at any age!) :
1) Self-knowledge - knowing one's aptitudes (objectively measured natural talents), interests, values and personality. Most career assessment processes omit the aptitude assessment - which is actually the most important piece (along with interests). Aptitudes remain relatively stable throughout one's lifetime, and are predictive of performance on a job (motivation also plays an important part). A "skills assessment" is NOT the same - it is a subjective ranking by the individual, a self-estimate, which research has shown is not accurate. And how unfortunate when an individual doesn't think they have a talent in an area where they do --and successive career decisions are made on that inaccurate information! No wonder they're miserable!
2) Readiness - each child develops at their own pace. Help your child build skills in gathering information, planning, evaluating options, and decision-making; these skills, often learned in the context of school subjects, are the same ones used to investigate possible career options.
3) Fit - when a student's aptitudes, interests, values and personality are aligned with career choices (and college majors), where there is a good fit, he or she will do well and enjoy their work (job satisfaction). Gaining first-hand knowledge about a potential career direction (through informational interviews and job shadowing activities) helps a student formulate realistic career/college goals, and builds their motivation, sense of purpose, and confidence.
4) Support - (and homeschool parents are GREAT at this!) Identify other adults who can be role models and mentors for your children and can support them in their educational and work goals. Though research says parents are the biggest influence on their children's career choices, often a suggestion or thought-provoking question from an adult other than a parent can have a significant positive impact.

http://www.careervision.org has a number of articles on this topic; you'll find them on the Parents Resource web page. Hope this helps.

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Postby janaleigh » Mon May 11, 2009 10:31 am

Some kids are more driven than others but here are some things I would suggest...

1. A Community College Course

2. Have her read -Accelerated Distance Education-she may get inspired

3. Get your husband involved. You may need to turn over her accountability to your husband-she may respond better to him at this age.

4. Online homeschooling

5. Get her a physical just to make sure she isn't ill or her hormones aren't causing her to not care.

6. Get her volunteering and/or help her get a job

I would just continue to let her know you love her and care about her.
Another book I'd recommend is called - Do Hard Things

I think we all feel better about our life when we are productive, taking healthy risks and moderately busy.

Best of luck to you and your daughter,
Jana marriend to Mike 20 Years
2 Sons, ages 15 and 17
Homeschooling 7+ years

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