I have several children and they're all different but I get further with negotiation (not because the kid won't obey-- but because I get no inward pleasure making my son do something that is just a smokescreen for his own passion in life). I want my kids to find the direction for their own lives. So yes, if my son loves to write, I might really encourage him to try the newspaper class or I might get him a journal. But if my son likes computers, I wouldn't sign him up for a newspaper elective; I would find out what he needs to take to be eligible for AP Computer Science. I am the biggest encourager in the world-- but I try to take my cues from them. (The times we have disagreed about class schedule was when they haven't wanted to take a class that they need for the colleges or majors that interest them.) But to each his own. God gives us our children for a reason. Perhaps what works with mine won't work with yours.