Some days my teens share scripture with me, cook dinner and ooze maturity. Other days they forget to do math, take showers and melt in a mess of emotions. I wish first thing in the morning, I could knock on their bedroom doors and ask which one is coming to breakfast.
How do you keep teens accountable with schoolwork, when you never know which attitude you will have in the morning?
At our house we have a school agreement, a verbal contract. I have typed up a list of school subjects and activities that must be completed every week. I have printed off a stack of them and on Sunday I put the date on one and hand it to my teens. I want them each week to check off the subjects as they finish them up. They know that on Friday at 3:00p.m. They must have completed everything on the list. If they have not, then the weekend is cancelled. Now I do offer grace on weeks when our schedules have exploded, but I communicate any changes before Friday. My teens can ask for an extension, and after hearing their cases, I accept or decline the request.
I have seen other contracts that state very specifically what is expected and what exactly the punishment will be and is signed by both parties.
Currently our agreements are a verbal contract, although I am thinking about writing up a formal one. The past few weeks my son has been stating his assignments are done and upon close inspection, I am finding blank answers. It seems he is forgetting to ask the questions he has in order to complete the assignments. Maybe a written contract on having blank answers will cause you to lose your iPod for the weekend will help.
Have you used contracts with your teens?