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Motivating the College Bound Teenager

Using college visit to motivate unschooled teenager

Since we made the full jump into Unschooling, one of my biggest fears has been – how do I motivate them to success?

As I considered this question, I realized that they are very motivated to do those things which interest them – it is just my goals for them that they are not motivated to achieve.

But, what if they have college aspirations? (Although I fully believe that college is not the only path to success.) How can I help them see that there are some things that just need to be covered in order to attend college – even if it is not necessarily something that thrills them?

The answer came a few weeks ago when I took my 13-year-old to her first choice college’s visitation day. And, yes, we got a few strange looks about having a 13-year-old there so early, but if she is planning on dual enrollment, that only leave 2 years to prepare.

Before this trip, the idea of college was very abstract; she really didn’t know what happened there or what to expect. But, after being there - seeing the class rooms, hearing about the classes, talking to other students and professors – lit a fire in her that all the talking (ie lecturing) from me could never have accomplished. She is now very motivated to do what is necessary to be able to learn all these new things that this particular college offers.

For this to work, I think that it is necessary that the chosen college offers classes (and a lot of them) in their areas of passion. For my daughter, that passion is art, so an art school was able to inspire her. (As a matter of fact, she came home bursting to create and immediately started a new drawing.) We wouldn’t have had the same success had we gone to a primarily business or technological school. So, it’s necessary to tailor this approach to your teen – and, who knows your teen better than you do?

How old were your children/teens when you first took them to visit a college campus? How did it affect them? What age are you planning on making your first visit? Tell us about it in the comments!

Homeschooling Unscripted

 

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Gidget (22 Posts)


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Try Something New Today

My husband was fiddling around in the kitchen, and I called out, “Whatcha making?” To which, he replies that he is trying to make something new with the fried shrimp we have left over and the shrimp stock he made with the shells.

My first thought was, “But what if it doesn’t work? You will have wasted the shrimp.” Luckily, I bit my tongue and didn’t let the critical thoughts escape.

Now, I am not going to eat the new creation {I’m not so much the eat new things type}, but once again I was reminded that I need to be more open to possibilities and be willing to say “Yes!”

As often happens {in threes, no less}, I happened to have had the same message repeated to me several times today.

Rex came to me and said that he would like to learn how to do a cartwheel someday. My response? “Sure, do you want to do it today?” He lit up. I did make him wait until it cooled off as it was ridiculously hot today, but we did do it. So, we got to play for a little while {and, bonus! we discussed the names of a few muscles so he could accurately describe what hurt}, and he even started landing on his feet after several tries – building his self esteem as he learned a new skill.

It’s really hard to take a picture of a moving, tumbling boy

And, I probably completely shocked him when he told me that he would like to get Paint.net on his computer one day, and I responded with “Sure, let’s do it right now.”

Both of these things were easy for me to do, but just a few days ago, before the return of unschooling, I probably would have said, “Ok, we’ll do that later,” and never actually followed through. How many opportunities have I lost because I didn’t take advantage of their enthusiasm over something new? Well, no more – moving forward, I am committing to say “YES!” as often as I can.

Is there a time when you surprised your kids by saying yes? Tell us about it in the comments!

Homeschooling Unscripted

Gidget (22 Posts)


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No Need to Worry

Do you ever find yourself worrying about what tomorrow will bring? Yeah, me too. One of my favorite scriptures that reminds me that I don’t need to worry comes from Matthew.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Photo Credit: Gidget

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Tiny sunbursts

Photo Credit: Heather

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

The next time you start to worry, let the birds and the flowers remind you that God is in control of today and tomorrow. As the saying goes – Let go and Let God – and be amazed.

Homeschooling Unscripted

Gidget (22 Posts)


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