Unmotivated high schooler?

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

Hi! I'd appreciate any input you'd like to offer. I have a child who just finished the 10th grade. She's been doing the Abeka DVD program (the one where you send in their grades and they keep the records for you) for the last two years. My problem is that she is TOTALLY unmotivated. That is really her personality and, sadly, it's also mine. I'm not very organized or pro-active about things and I'm busy trying to school the younger ones so I do not have the energy (nor do I think I should have to) follow her around every day and nag her all day long to do her school work. The problem is that she really doesn't care about school work, hates it and just fails those subjects that do not interest her or seem important to her. I recognize the attitude, I had one just like it at her age, but I always made minimally good grades because I didn't want to be a failure. She seems not to really care if she ever graduates or anything! Nothing I say or do to her seems to help. I've tried rewarding her and she doesn't care. It's not worth it to her. I've taken away her beloved volleyball- she was supposed to be on varsity next year but I told her if she failed any more courses it would be gone. Well, she failed 3 courses that semester. I'm at my wits' end with her. Any suggestions?


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[deleted account]

Thanks for your help, ladies. She's doing much better now. With the volleyball taken away, she has had the necessary time and the proper "pain level" to motivate her to keep her work up and pass her classes (so far, anyway). She will need to do a math summer school class, but if she can stay above passing on her other courses, she should graduate next year.

Thanks for the driving suggestion but sadly, that didn't work for us. She couldn't care less about driving. It scares her and she hates it. It doesn't help to refuse to drive her places. She loves being at home, in her room and hanging with her younger sister. She will gladly sit at home rather than have to drive somewhere. grr! What does work is limiting computer time. She has a long distance boyfriend (another reason she's been more motivated- she'd be mortified to tell him that she couldn't graduate. He's older.) She mainly communicates with friends and her boyfriend by Facebook or email. When I threaten to take that away, she has a miraculous surge in enthusiasm. ha

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2010




My 14 yr old freshman son was like that until I told him that if he did his work like he was supposed to then he could get driving lessons so he could get his license when he turns 16 and until his work improved I would not purchase the state required Parent taught drivers Ed program . He got on the ball and when he starts slacking off he loses his driving on the ranch privledges

User - posted on 12/18/2009




I have two boys; one in college and one in 9th grade. We used Calvert until 7th grade. After that we switched around a lot. We found Abeka very advanced, almost 3 grades above what the books claimed to be! May I suggest you let her shop around for a different curriculum, I mean really dig in and go thought the books, there are so many to choose from. After she's made her choice, pay her for good grades. Four times during the school year we pay $20 for A's, $10 for B's, $0 for C's, -$10 for D's and -$20 for F's. Set the bar low at first, 90-100 is A, then raise it when she gets in the money groove.

[deleted account]

Thank you for your input ladies! I'm really praying that she will do better this year. We worked and reworked her schedule and, provided that she doesn't fail any more math, she should be able to graduate on time. Sadly, Lucina, the concept of taking college courses at this point is not an option. She has all she can deal with just passing her high school courses. She seems to be starting to see how important this is and I've noticed that seems more ready to work and to be diligent. (God, please!!) She has decided she wants to be a HAIRDRESSER which means that high school seems even MORE irrelevant to her in terms of the subjects she has to take. The deal is that if she can get through 11th grade without repeating anything, she can play volleyball her senior year. Unfortunately, the volleyball season is FIRST marking period so she has no way of earning it back until her senior year. The plan is to finish high school and then go to beauty school. There is a program that she could get involved in through the public school to study hairdressing while in high school, but it is in ADDITION to getting her credits for graduation, so it would be too much for her to do.

Thanks again for your answers!

Lucina - posted on 08/01/2009




My son is going into 11th also, and we were having the same problem. He needs something to keep him looking foreward to. We went to our local community college the other day and talked to a counselor. This college had a test called the Ability to
Benefit test which they had him take. He passed it, and now they are letting him take college courses for college credit and work toward his associates degree. He is very excited about earning his Associates by the time he is 18 or 19.

Missy - posted on 06/22/2009




What does she want to be? What does she want to do? I think taking her to see those professionals in action, setting some goals, and talking to those people about how they got to those places might really help. Also, taking her to see some college, letting her spend a weekend in a host program at some good schools and go to some college classes might help - during the visit, ask the admissions people to explain the grades she'll need to be accepted. It might help renew her interest in succeeding in school. Also, I think that taking volleyball was necessary, but definitely give her a way back in. Think about the eligibility requirements, like a 2.5 GPA for example, to stay on the team, and tell her that if she is able to maintain that, she can go back to playing.

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