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10 Tips to Motivate a Homeschooled High Schooler

Motivating a high school student is tough. Motivating a homeschooled student is also tough! Here are 10 tips to consider when trying to get your homeschooled high school motivated!


10 Tips to Motivate a Homeschooled High Schooler:

1. Give your teen more control over his or her schedule. Giving your teen independence can break down barrier for both of you. For example, one of our teens is not a morning person and gets up at 9:30, has a slow breakfast followed by an hour of free time in his room, and then gets to work. Getting him up at 8:00 a.m. was a nightmare and resulted in many unproductive hours. On the other hand, his brother likes to get up early, power through his work for the day, then have his free time.

2. Find out what your teen thinks. It may be an obvious thing to do, but it’s something we often forget. Talk with your teen. Go for a walk together or treat him to a lunch out, just with you. Ask why he is struggling: is it something in particular or just a general thing? Find out what his goals are and develop a plan to address these points together.

3. Emphasize your teen’s strengths and learning style. Create a learning environment that fosters kinesthetic, visual, or environmental skills. Or, if your child prefers, foster an environment that embraces linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence instead.

4. Break work down into smaller blocks. Nobody likes to be overwhelmed by a giant pile of assignments. Set out what needs to be done for the day, or even for the hour, and give your teen the chance experience a sense of achievement by getting everything done!

5. Be positive! If your teen is struggling, give extra praise, extra support and extra rewards. Watch her succeed.

6. Get out from behind that desk! Dance. Go camping. Go on a hike or bike ride. We all need a change of scenery from time to time, so choose something your teen enjoys and surprise him or her with it when it’s most needed!

If your teen is getting bored of working inside – take lessons outside! You can read outside in a sunny spot, pack a picnic and a book, or take writing activities to the patio.

7. Work outside of school. Get together with your teen and look for employment or volunteer opportunities. Important lessons and life skills are learned this way. It will give your teen the opportunity to mix with new people who may be able to motivate in new ways.

8. Help your teen discover his future. Arrange for your teen to talk with people in a variety of occupations. Something may spark his interest and he’ll also have the opportunity to develop a relationship with a great mentor.

9. Harness your teen’s interests. Instead of selecting specific subjects, use your teen’s interests as a basis for her learning. One of our sons loves everything about soccer, so we incorporate soccer into geography, social & cultural lessons, history, math & statistics, marketing, advertising, psychology, and practically almost anything!

10. Know your local education regulations. Where we live, there are many ‘out of school’ activities that qualify for high school graduation credits. Our middle son has earned credit for the summer camp he attended earning his Survival Instructor’s qualification. He has also earned credit through wilderness first aid courses and community service with the Air Cadets. He is a much more motivated student knowing his ‘desk work’ is only part of his curriculum.

Discover more homeschool resources for high schoolers:
  • Life of Fred High School Math Books – Fred’s mathematical journey continues through high school in six titles during which he learns why you can’t divide by zero, about venn diagrams, Cramer’s rule, and more!
  • Printable Homeschool Planning Forms – Beautiful and functional evergreen homeschool planning forms. Use year after year, print as many as you need for your family.
  • Incentives For High Schoolers – These reward incentives save a lot of time correcting bad behavior, and students are able to focus more on learning.
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