Last Saturday I spoke to a group of parents homeschooling high school (or soon to be homeschooling high school). During the Q&A at the end of the the workshop, a mom bravely asked,
"How do you handle learners who always want to default to computer or social media games?"
"Do you have a whole day for the answer?"
This is a tough question to answer without any knowledge of the family or of the learner, in my opinion. There are just too many factors which come into play: learner ability, amount of work expected to be accomplished, time of day, social/emotional circumstances and more. In addition, I am not a formula answer kind of gal. There are often no right answers, all the time, for every family, for every learner.
I could only share the ah-ha realization from our personal experience as well as the conclusions found by families with whom we've walked the journey.
When children and young adults have a goal to aspire to, something they want to build, some cause to fight, bottom line, some passion that propels them, there is reason to prioritize the day, reason to manage time.
Yes, there will be ideas to listen to, questions to ponder, problems to solve, seasons of failure. However, when there is an interest, there is motivation--positive or negative.
Interestingly, just three days after my weekend workshop, my adult son (who didn't know I was posed with the above question on Saturday), sent me an article. After dinner, my engineer daughter had an idea.
"Can I have that water jug in the fridge?"
Sure. We emptied the remaining water into a pitcher.
Off she went. Spent several hours trying and retrying.
When there is an interest, a problem to solve, a question to research, a goal to accomplish, there is motivation.
This isn't the first time we've encountered the rewards of interest. In fact, one of our adult children refined his natural strengths and reoccurring interests (meaning interests visited and revisited, refined--passions) and is now using those in his vocation. Thousands of hours practicing, experimenting, refining gifts are now impacting a company, people in his sphere of influence. Another adult child continues to refine his skills and interests in graduate school. His career goal (which uses his passion and care for people) is motivating him through 12-15 hour days of study.
What problem does your learner want to solve? What question is he or she pondering? Is there something significant to accomplish?
There, too, will be motivation.
With you on the journey!