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Perfect Children Always Complete Their Work

February 25, 2013

“But How do I Get Them to Work?!”

I get a lot of different questions about homeschooling high school. A big one is “How do I get my student to do the work?”  Especially for parents new to homeschooling, this is the big worry.  How do you make them listen and get the job done?

Unfortunately, perhaps, children are free moral agents.  They sometimes do not cooperate, and there isn’t any magic way to force them to work.  But there are definitely some general tips that can help. The first thing is to have your spouse play the role of the principal. Sometimes homeschooling can be so overwhelming that it’s helpful to separate out the job of educating your children from the job of determining consequences. If you can delegate the job of consequences to your spouse, your job as teacher will be easier and less complicated.

Here is a helpful tip. Try some clear, natural consequences, using a direct ‘If…then’ statement, like this: “If you do not turn in your math assignment for the day, then you may not leave the front door.” Just like you did with toddlers, you want to take what is most important to your student and withhold it for the purposes of making sure they get their work done. Their computer, cell phone, or whatever it is that they truly love and can’t live without is a good thing for you to use for natural consequences.

In our family, my personal favorite was “If you are too tired to complete that assignment, then obviously you are too tired to go play.”  Be sure to insert their favorite activity at the end! So now you know, my children weren’t perfect, and didn’t always do their work either!

See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are to make it easy for you to share these helpful posts with your friends who might need encouragement.  Go ahead and give it a try.  I promise that nothing will blow up!

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