This tends to be asked about boys more than girls so we will approach it from a boy???s perspective. If you???ve seen our family photo, you may ask ??oeHow do you know????, since our boys are only 5 ?? and 2. However, we have two girls ages 15 and 12. We have worked through (and continue to work through) this with them, and we believe there is a principle that applies to all children, whether girls or boys. Proverbs says to ??oetrain up your child in the way they should go???. Does this mean that we have one set way of training all our children? Or do we take into account each child???s talents and gifts, and do our best as parents to train that child in his/her strengths? We believe it is the latter. Each child has different strengths, weaknesses, and personality characteristics. We need to try our best as parents to understand our children as best as we can, and then equip them and train them to use their gifts to the best of their ability.
So, if each child is different, what is the one principle that applies to all children? Having their hearts. Spending time with your child, teaching them many different skills when they are young, watching as they blossom in certain ones, and allowing them to explore and have time to develop their interests. The most important part? Being there beside them each step of the way. Take an interest in what they do in their spare time. Ask them what they would like to do today, next week, this month, this semester, this year. And then set out reaching those goals together.
Now, there is a difference between girls and boys. I can see it in my young boys, and I think it escalates as boys get older. I have read about this from other homeschooling families, have witnessed it in families that have older boys, and can see it more and more as our 5 year old matures. Boys have tons of energy! And as they get older, their hormones kick in on top of that and you soon have a boiling caldron about to spill over! What do you do with this energy?
To get back to the question of how to motivate a teenager in school, who has all of this energy?
You put school second. What?! That???s right ??” you put school second. Does that mean you don???t teach them what they should know? Absolutely not!
But here is how you can go about it: The first hour of the day give your boy work to do ??” the things that need to be done around the house, barn or garden. Once he finishes that, have him do 20-30 minutes of math. Then allow him to spend an hour doing something he really wants to do. Does he like to tear apart lawn mowers and build them again? Find a junk one and encourage him to rebuild it. Does he like to play sports? Let him go kick around the soccer ball for an hour and hone his skills. Does he like to make furniture? Let him work on a wood-working project for an hour. Is he good at computer programming? Give him an hour on the computer creating a program. Then have them do 20-30 minutes of English. After English, let him go back to his project for awhile.
And so the day goes in shifts like this, so the boy can get his energy out by working on his skills and interests that he enjoys, but at the same time he is getting his school work done. He will be much more willing to sit down and do that math and English if he knows each day he gets to work on something that really interests him. At the same time, you will be ??oetraining??? your child in the way he should go. This is just one more of the Advantages of Homeschooling.
You don???t have the skills or resources to teach your child? Then make every effort to find someone you trust that does. Isn???t that how all of us are motivated?
my little girl: my little girl
Randall and Karen Webster have been enjoying the advantage of Homeschooling their 5 kids for over 10 years. They offer a FREE 5-part Mini-Course at their website http://www.FrustrationFreeHomeschool.com
my little girl: Kids
my little girl: Daughter
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