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Showing the educational big picture

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What have you done to help your kids see the big picture? My kids are very global, they need to see the forest to care about the 'less-than-fun' trees. I've been fortunate that we've been able to make many of the 'trees' (Math, science, lit, even spelling) interesting in and of themselves. But as they get older and some subjects' difficulty outstrips the interest I can generate for it, they are balking. They are still doing their work dutifully, but apathy is growing because they cannot see the point of what they are doing, the forest, the BIG PICTURE.


For example academic writing. It's hard for me because I've always loved writing, and my kids do not. The oldest two have real struggles with organizational thinking, prioritizing, staying on point, and even just articulating a thought with words (they have ADHD). I have tried to tell DS, who wants to be an ichthyologist, that writing is important for getting into college, for grant proposals, for research reporting, for communication with colleagues, and for public outreach. No traction. Again, he will write, but there is great frustration and much less skill retention than i believe there would be if his attitude was different, than if he better understand the value and need.


Anyway, it isn't just about persistence- they both have great tenacity and persistence in their AOPS work!


I am hoping to help them see relevance in all things we do in our homeschool. Me telling them doesn't help them connect the dots. So what do I do - have them talk to people in their prospective careers? show them college entrance requirements (I've told them but not shown them)? an applicable read aloud book or movie?

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For my kids, hearing talks from private high school guidance counselors and from college admission officers at colleges' visitor centers has been very helpful. For example events held at college campuses e.g. Stanford Splash tend to have those talks.


My oldest has looked at admitted students profile for a number of colleges to see how his SAT and ACT scores place him for various colleges engineering school. Whether his scores are average or below average.


UC (California) also published a high school planner in PDF which my kids find helpful especially for ways to check the boxes for subjects they are disinterested in like US history and biology. http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/My_Academic_Planner-EAOP.pdf

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