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homeschooling an unmotivated teenager
June 12, 2013 at 8:11 AM

my ds is 14 and he just, i cant say refused to do his school work, if i stay on him or work with him, he will do it, but getting him to do it on his own, not going to happen. He loves his hand held game things. He loves to make things out of paper, glue, tape and cardboard. He is working on with alpha and omega 7th grade. I'm tempted to just let him keep working at his own pace, maybe push him a little. I've made a schedule of what he is to do each day, doesn't get done. I even put each page that needed to be done into zip lock baggies with the day of the week written on them and changed them out when the work was done, but nothing helps. I am tempted to just let him take the summer off and maybe read. He's got some trips planned with our church, a mission trip, a lock-in, and camp for a week. The last year has been hard on all of us, there was a divorce, a move and we didn't get our books till Feb.

am i being crazy?

what would you more experienced homeschooling moms do?


  • bluerooffarm
    June 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

     Have you tried letting him choose his schedule for the day.  Sounds like a control issue here.  If he feels he has some control over what he learns and how he learns it, he may show more initiative.

    I had a boy in my class at ps who just didn't want to do the work.  I figured out that he just couldn't sit.  I had him get up and do activities and watched him relly blossom.  How much work is paper and pencil work?  Is there anything you can have him do where he gets up and builds it or experiments with it?

    Also, you had a tough year.  Take some time and let the fallout end on its own.

  • Callieray
    June 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM


  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    June 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Is your son more hands on and love building things?  Mine are the same way.  We started out with rod and staff and realized it was not geared for their learning style.  You might need more hands on curriculum.  Does he enjoy reading or enjoy you reading to him?

  • celticdragon77
    June 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I feel I could have wrote this post a few years ago.

    That is a lot to happen. My family for a few years went through such changes. I put my kids back in public school during that time. I thought it would be better for them - it wasnt. This year life settled down quite nicely - and the kids BEGGED me to homeschool them again. So we will begin again soon. 

    I think that while the storms are still brewing and before things settle down - your child(ren) will struggle in every area. How important is school when your life feels like it is falling apart? Their heart and mind won't be there. Take it slow, let him/them take some time off. Try and spend a lot of time with your kids. It will eventually settle down. 

    As for motivation... Start by seeing if you just sitting there working with him, will help any. It is hard to say what exactly will be the switch that lights him up and gets him going. Just tinker around a bit - patiently and lovingly. 

    My daughter struggled with school in her middle school years. At one point, I had her research college, career choices, her interests, and do life skill exercises - like research the newspaper/online for what jobs were available. She had to see what skills, training and degrees were needed. What the pay differences were. Then she had to pick a job that didn't reguire college vs one that did (kind of like the game life) and see where each path took her. I randomly hit her with an obstacle and she had to problem solve it. By the end, she saw why she wanted to study hard for school and go to college, wait to have kids / get married, be able to save money... My daughter is now 17 and could probably use that same lesson all over again! Kids have so many distractions and allures that can take them off track. You mentioned video games. My younger kids have that issue and it I have had to revamp our rules around here about that.

    Often times, when we as adults have a lot going on (especially high emotional things like divorce and moving), we can get where we loose the focus and patience for our kids. They think they can get away with things and have their own high emotions going on. The kids were mad me for a bit because I was the mom and supposed to fix everything for them - but I couldn't fix the divorce, the move, or other issues. I was struggling myself. And sometimes, our kid need to see that we are just human and have our own weakness and limits. That life is not a safe cozy place to live in.

    I don't know if I helped at all with this. I can only say that it does get better - and there was a time when I didn't ever think it could.  

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    June 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    I would let him take the summer off & unschool. See if he can find things that inspire him. That doesn't mean you sit back & do nothing. What you need to do is get things (books, games, material, movies, etc.) that you think might be of interest to him, put them out all over the house where he will find them, let him see you using some of them. He will get curious & ask about them, that is when you tell him what the things are & then drop it. If you don't push but make it intriguing you will find him using some of the stuff & learning all on his own.

  • motheroffour186
    June 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM
    Hello sorry you having trouble. This I was having the same trouble with my teenage son. I had to get helping me with the curriculum for this come school year. He want to dissect a frog. So that one we are going to do for science. He picked three field trips. He had picked three social studies work three field trips will all for of my child picked three units and three field trips. Everyone picked one thing for gym and I pick on Friday. But it have to be something we all 5 can do be I have to 5 year olds. Reading he picks out his own book and then I write out some reading comprehension questions for his grade level we go to the library once week.

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