You’re the envy of the all the members of the PTA; your child excels in every class whether or not he puts any effort into his homework or listens attentively to the teacher. But you realize he has a much greater potential, if only he cared and was self-motivated enough to take his learning to the next level. Aim to make this school year more challenging for him by trying one or more of these ideas to motivate him:
Work on Becoming (More) Brilliant
If your child’s math class isn’t challenging enough, have her create a free account at Brilliant.org. The website unites more than 100,000 high achieving students from around the world though math problems that are organized into different levels according to difficulty. This is an excellent way to help your child prepare for the ACT or SAT and, if she’s competitive, she’ll love working towards a higher level by completing the problems that are emailed to her each week and seeing how she ranks against kids in other countries.
Hire A Peer Tutor
Some students don’t realize what the end goal of their education really is, or they might struggle to see value in learning certain subjects. Students who aspire to be history teachers usually don’t think their scores in music are important. No matter what you or his teacher say about why certain subjects are required, some kids just refuse to listen. Parents in a forum at Berkley’s website suggest hiring another high school or college student to tutor your child. Teens are usually more willing to listen to their peers, and the peer tutors can tell your child how the subject applies to their future.
Or Get A Job as A Tutor
Most teachers will tell you that the way they really became an expert in their subject area wasn’t by studying it, but by teaching it to their students. Allow your child to sign up as a peer tutor — as a volunteer or for pay — so they are encouraged to delve deeper into the subject matter to impart their knowledge to others. As a bonus, they rack up community service hours or earn a bit of cash, and keep their own scores in that subject high.
Raise Your Expectations
Great Schools (3) says that low expectations of students leads to their lack of motivation. Raise the bar by enrolling them in more advanced courses or even a class or two at the community college. Have your teen watch videos by PennFoster on YouTube if they can’t handle the extra workload of high level course for a semester, so they can at least get a taste of what to expect from college.
Enroll Them In Educational Programs
Whether your child is interested in traveling the world or passionate about a particular subject, help them dig deeper by signing them up for a volunteer program. Walking Tree and Global Leadership Adventures are two programs that help students become global citizens by giving them the opportunity to experience life in a foreign country, work with local people and learn the language and culture. Programs like the one offered by Longwood Gardens allow teens who are passionate about something — in this case, nature — share their knowledge with others while gaining real life experience in a work-like environment.