In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scholastically motivating teens

Children don't come with how-to manuals. Each child is different. Every parent sees things differently.

But, for what it's worth, this is how I manage my two sons still at home with regards to school work. I make the standard clear and then let them do things their way and as long as they ethically continue to meet the standard. My thought is that, if they're meeting the standard, then what they're doing must be working for them even if it's not the way I would do it. If they don't make the standard, then I get involved and help them manage their time/requirements.

I have one who's in 8th grade and another in 9th. The standard is that they must get all As. They're in California public schools and they're both really bright so there's no reason for them not to meet make all As. Up until this past semester report card (which came today - hence my journaling about it) they've met the standard.

I think my middle son (there's two at home but a third off at college) spends too much time on the computer playing games but I've resisted getting into it. As long as he spends time daily in the bible, does his chores, attends church and gets all As, I let him him manage his own time. But today when we received his report card in the mail I found that he has a C in Honors Geometry and a B in Honors English. I know it's his first semester of high school and I know he's in football, but he knew the standard and he's spent plenty of time on the computer. So today we started our new plan:

Each day he brings me his math and English notebooks and shows me what's due. For math he has set homework every day. Now I've got to tell you that I in no way remember geometry but I can check to ensure his work is actually completed and has a semblance of reasonableness. I can also have him bring up his class on Edline on the computer and see how he's doing on his tests. If he has As on each test, I'll assume his method of studying is sufficient, if not, we can discuss methods he must try implementing. For English he has a word of the day every day and once a week he is tested on these words cumulatively. So we will now review all the words daily. He will also show me papers that are due and again go on Edline on the computer to verify his progress in class. I now control when he is able to be on the computer.

My aim here is to eventually fade myself out again. I firmly believe that my sons need to learn to be independent. I wasn't involved in my oldest son on such a level and he did very well in school and is doing well in college now. But each person is different and I think my middle son had two things going on: 1 - Adjustment to high school and extracurricular activities demands, 2- Testing to see if I really meant what I said. If he gets all As on the next report card, he can take the reigns again and keep them as long as he continues to meet the standard.

I was thinking he'd be upset at me. I'm glad to find that his attitude was more along the lines of sheepish and he wasn't at all belligerent. I pray that he will become independent and responsible.

There is one book that I've found helpful for this teenagers-at-home season of my life. The book is Boundaries with Teens

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