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Motivation to do well with school work

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It just hit me a minute ago why I had no trouble getting good grades when I was in middle school and high school. My parents didn't really care how I did as long as I wasn't failing altogether, on drugs, or pregnant. Still, I was pretty much an A/B student through all those years.


I remember now that when I was in 7th grade I was kind of depressed (moved to a strange place, new school, etc.) and didn't really try all that much. In the summer between 7th and 8th grade I moved again to a new neighborhood and made new friends. Two of these friends were smart, pretty, friendly girls who I greatly admired and wanted to emulate. They were both on the honor roll. From that time through the end of college I made every effort to get on the honor roll or dean's list just so I could be like Amy and Holly.:D


Now, since we are homeschoolers and "honor roll" is kind of a moot point, I'm wondering if you all have any ideas for a similar kind of motivation. For all these years I've been mystified as to why it was so "easy" for me to get good grades and I just now remembered about the whole honor roll deal. No one paid me, no one offered me gifts or special activities if I got on the honor roll. It was just the idea of having my name on that silly list.


Now my two that are still being homeschooled do their work. They get it done, but there doesn't seem to be a drive to do it well - to really excel.


Can there be something equally motivating for homeschooled kids? Just wondering if anyone here has hit on something that drives kids to work hard and really try to learn the material. I'd avoided assigning grades up to now, but am wondering if that was the wrong move.

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That's a very good question. For dd14, her motivation comes through relationship. She is taking Algebra and Biology from a woman she thoroughly adores, and who takes great interest in dd. That's just what she needs for motivation. Unfortunately, it doesn't carry over to Mom taught classes or online classes. Ds11 would be motivated in a competitive environment, and since he is not in that situation, he isn't motivated to excel.

So I'll:bigear: and see if someone else has other ideas.

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Well, I wish I had a good stay at home answer for you. But what I discovered that bumped my B student to a consistent A student is healthy competition. We have been able to find that in co-op classes and now, for my eldest, it's community college classes.


My two at-home 8th graders do get scores/grades, but they are only interested in staying close to one another. They are both happy to maintain Bs but I feel certain they are capable of more, at least more effort if not

better grades.


Do you have any friend families that you could do a project with, something to help the kids strive together for excellence? Or a contest of some sort?


I look forward to hearing what others have to share.

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To us, this is both a great blessing and a great challenge of homeschooling.


We are grateful that our kids are not learning to achieve based on grades, competition and the deadlines of others. In some respects, these things hinge on avoiding shame, KWIM?


On the other hand, self-motivation is something I struggle with myself so it is difficult to help my kids. We are learning this together. We are seeing tremendous growth in terms of doing excellent work because "we can". Getting to this point has taken time, patience and a willingness to pursue it myself.

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