Advice needed for 8th grader

How to keep 8th graders doing virtual school during COVID -19 motivated. She is great with school work and some virtual extracurricular. She has been a high achiever. I feel like she is getting lost and help her .

Our youngest is in 7th and doing full virtual as well. It’s really tough!! Our son has always been very bright but a procrastinator. That tendency to put things off has definitely gotten far worse.
Short term solution is we’re just staying on top of him. He has to show us his work at the end of each day. More long term we’re paying for grades. Like alot!! We’ve also added the incentive of a vacation of his choosing if he gets a 4.0.

Another thing we’re thinking about doing is showing him what can be his possible future if he gets good grades. We have several excellent colleges w/in a short day’s drive. Obviously, we aren’t doing real visits (schools don’t want to see a 12 yr old anyway). But you can still drive or walk around if masked and social distance. You can’t go inside any buildings, but that’s what virtual tours are for.

Having a good routine is also key. He still has a bedtime, gets up and online at the same time, etc. He always knows what he’s supposed to be doing and when.

Beyond that, just keeping the lines of communication open. Asking lots of questions, and making suggestions when issues pop up.

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This could be a good opportunity to try to find virtual supplements or activities that she may not have otherwise had the time for given her other extracurricular commitments. For instance, if she’s really artistic and has historically just been devoted to sculpture but doesn’t have easy access to the necessary materials or a space, she could try learning Adobe digital art tools. I’ve found taking the time that might otherwise turn out “dead” and helping my kids fuel it into something they’re passionate about and that’s still accessible helps keep despair and anxiety at bay.

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It’s only 8th grade, and this COVID situation is tough. I would worry more about mental health and happiness than grades. Is he getting any exercise?

Short term incentives for grades can really backfire in the long run, in my opinion and after years of experience as a parent. But every family has a philosophy and every kid is different.

I would think just getting the work done in a basic way and not worrying about grades so much would help. Involve your kid in the conversation about how best to help. Maybe sit with him while working, doing something yourself.

I think this is so hard on kids but also on parents. Sympathies!

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@annie212 Keep her preoccupied by searching for and contributing to ideal community service activities. This will greatly help in the long run when college apps are due jr. year.

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You might want to go through her online platforms with her and help her figure out a strategy for approaching her work. My daughter was struggling with online high school this spring. When I went into Canvas I realized that with the quick move to online school, some of the teacher pages were a mess. (We’ve been told that would improve this fall.) Depending on the set up, your daughter might benefit with help setting up a computer filing system or bookmarking certain pages. Or, she might do well with a paper planner.

We’re encouraging our daughter to attend some online office hours to connect with her teachers as well as reminding her that she can email teachers with questions if she gets stuck.

This situation is to some degree pushing middle school and high school students to behave more like college students in terms of independent work and managing their own time.

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Are the classes synchronous? Assuming they are but wondering if they are recorded and accessible over time as well.