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6/4/2009 9:46:49 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- June 2009

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
June 2009: Miracle Cures for Motivating Teens
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June 2009 HTHS email newsletter

Miracle Cures for Motivating Teens

Dear Friends,

Sorry for the title, but we wanted to be sure you would read the June
newsletter. Did it work? Seriously, we don't have any miracle cures
guaranteed to motivate your teens. If we did, we would both be
sunbathing in the Caribbean living off of book royalties! Nonetheless,
we hope to provide you with a number of new ideas and simple reminders
for motivating your teen (and you).

What is motivation?

The Encarta Dictionary defines motivation as "a feeling of enthusiasm,
interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something; the
act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something." As
parents you can use creative ideas to provide your teens with
enticement to be motivated students.

How do I motivate my teens?

One of the key words in the definition of motivation is incentive. We
are much more enthused about doing something when we can see a reason
for doing it. Likewise, your teens need to understand that there are
reasons for them to be good students who complete their course work
(and other activities) with diligence.

If your student is a Christian, the first reason, without a doubt, is
that his goal should be to please the Lord and glorify Him. As
students, one of the primary ways teens can glorify the Lord is to do
their school work with integrity, excellence, and skill. Don't assume
that your teens understand this--discuss it with them. Do they see
their studies as their main job right now?

Elisabeth Elliot gives good advice for all of us (students, homeschool
parents, and high school coordinators!) as we view our jobs: "This job
has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it
is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.
Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.... Here,
not somewhere else, I may learn God's way. In this job, not in some
other, God looks for faithfulness."

Lead your teens in finding one or two Bible verses that prompt them to
work as unto the Lord such as Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him." Or 2 Thessalonians 3:10:
"...if anyone will not work, neither let him eat." Now there's
motivation if implemented! :)

A second reason for teens to be motivated about their studies is that
it is a necessary component in attaining future goals. Help your
teens to make the connection between their school work and preparation
for their careers and adult life. In other words, their high school
studies do have an end goal. No matter what plans your teens have for
post-graduation, knowledge they are gaining now will be useful to them
later. Give your teens time to research various careers specifically
with the intent of learning what skills are necessary to succeed in
the job. Set up several short-term job shadowing opportunities so
they can see firsthand that writing reports, organizing data,
conducting research, performing math calculations, and taking tests
for certification will be abilities that will serve them all of their
lives.

If your teen is college-bound, have her check out the high school
course requirements that colleges demand, the minimum college entrance
test scores that are expected, and the seriousness with which
admissions officers view grades.

Encourage your teen by offering him some choices of courses that you
would like him to complete. Involving your teens by enabling them to
choose various courses, especially in the electives areas that
interest them, goes a long way towards developing motivation for their
studies.

Assist your teen in having the delight of setting goals and then
seeing them accomplished. Be sure you as the parent stay actively
involved in the learning process. At first, you may want to set goals
on a daily basis, but then as your teen matures, perhaps a weekly
meeting with you to go over how much progress he is making in his
studies will serve as a motivating inducement to keep setting new
goals. For example, guide your teen in breaking down a larger project
such as writing a research paper into smaller segments (narrowing down
a topic, doing preliminary research, coming up with an outline,
writing the first draft, polishing up the finished project). Think up
simple rewards when each goal is met--nothing fancy or
expensive--maybe a surprise afternoon of no school, her favorite ice
cream treat, a preferred candy bar hidden under the math book, or that
CD for which she's been saving.

Last, and most importantly, the prime way to motivate your teens is
through encouragement. You've probably heard it before, but most of
us are much more apt to find areas to criticize than we are to
encourage. Pay close attention to how many times you find fault with
your teens compared to how many times you find something to praise in
them. We challenge you to praise much more than you disapprove or
disparage. Encouragement heartens the spirit and sweetens everything
it touches. Even when your teens disappoint you by not completing a
task or by not putting forth a good effort, have them see you as an
advocate who is not only quick to correct, but one who also hastens to
offer them support to get back on the right track.

Here are some encouragement and motivational quotes to get you started
and to also bless your own hearts.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6608
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6609

Why does your teen lack motivation?

There are a variety of causes for a teen's seeming lack of motivation
that may include physical difficulties
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6610 , personality traits, or maybe
a rebellious nature. In order to discern the underlying explanation
for a lack of willingness to complete school work, we humbly recommend
seeking the Lord's wisdom through prayer. You can trust the Lord to
know how to best direct your efforts in helping your teen to overcome
his disinterest.

Even if a serious lack of motivation seems to stem from laziness, lack
of respect for authority, self-centeredness, or another sin area, then
we have good news for you--it is not a hopeless situation!

The Lord is in the business of changing and redeeming hearts, and the
prayers of faithful parents are never unheard. Your responsibility in
these cases is to lovingly train and correct, spur on to good deeds by
your own gracious example, and cry out to a Father who loves you and
your children with an everlasting love. If your relationship with
your teen has suffered through circumstances caused by his or her lack
of motivation, remember that the Lord is able to restore--fully and
completely. Continue trusting the Lord to be your powerful ally. Be
on guard so that you don't grow calloused or hardened toward your
teen, and always be mindful that the Lord deals with your own sin
areas in a grace-filled manner. Remembering this will help you to
likewise extend firm but gracious correction to your teen.

Above all, if you have tried many different approaches with no
success, do not despair or succumb to the temptation of taking
responsibility for your teen's choices. Know that the Lord is at work
even when change is slow to come.

Are you motivated?

Homeschooling is downright hard! Is your own motivation lacking? If
you still get out of bed each morning with a spring in your step,
ready to homeschool with a cheerful attitude and a ready smile, praise
God! On the other hand, if the spring in your step has sprung and you
find it difficult to face another homeschool day, here are some words
of encouragement:

> Stay focused on the eternal not the temporal,
> Remind yourself that the Lord is all-sufficient and ready to help
you,
> Repent of any laziness or hopelessness, and
> Receive unlimited grace and compassion from the Lord.

For those of you graduating a senior this June, we offer our heartfelt
congratulations! And, for all of you, we hope that the summer provides
you with a well-deserved time of refreshment. Join us next month as
we share ideas to spice up your next year's slate of courses.

Motivated to do our job as unto the Lord,
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Motivation Resources (for you and your teen)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6611
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6612

Quote of the Month:

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly
stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I
was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Attributed to Mark Twain

Becky and Diane's speaking engagements

June 4-6, 2009 - LEAH (Rochester, New York)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6071
(Diane)

June 6, 2009 - EPHSC (Shepherdstown, WV)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6506
(Becky)

June 13, 2009 - HIS (Frisco, Texas)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6507
(Becky)

June 18-20, 2009 - CHEC (Colorado)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6072
(Diane)

July 17-18, 2009 -- AFHE (Arizona)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5589
(Becky)

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http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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