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Building a Foundation for Success While Homeschooling Online

Written by James Madison High School on Friday, 18 May 2018. Posted in Traditional Students

So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling?Homeschooling Your High Schooler When You’re Not a Teacher

Whether you’ve chosen to supplement your high school homeschooling with individual online courses or enrolled your teen into online high school as a full-time endeavor, you have a unique opportunity to teach your teen how to learn and even adapt those techniques to the specific needs of your young learner.

But, before you load up your student with lists of study tips, tricks, and tools for learning, you need to instill a mindset that encourages successful learning.

A Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

The psychology behind “fixed mindset” or “growth mindset” isn’t as complicated as it sounds and your homeschooler’s success relies on it.

Putting it simply, a mindset is a belief about something and, when it comes to learning, our beliefs about what we’re good at and what we’re not good at are reinforced by our grades, teachers, friends, and, most of all, by our parents. For example, when we have a seemingly natural ability to get top grades in a subject without much effort, we believe we’re smart in that subject. When we get poor grades in a subject with the same amount of not-much effort, we believe we’re not smart in that subject. This belief is a “fixed mindset” about learning and it can discourage success for a lifetime.

On the flipside, the “growth mindset” is a belief that success is possible but it might require some extra effort to achieve it. You can give your homeschooler an edge to defeat what initially seems too difficult just by encouraging the growth mindset.

Take the “Test Your Mindset” Quiz with Your Homeschooler

How can you make sure your homeschooler develops a growth mindset? First, establish a starting point by visiting the short Test Your Mindset online quiz. Ask your teen the questions and click the corresponding agree/disagree answers. The results will tell you if your young learner’s mindset is fixed or growth-driven or somewhere in between.

If the results show your teen has a fixed mindset, start working hard to reverse it by encouraging some different ways of thinking like:

  • Having to put in more effort is not an indicator of smarts or stupidity.
  • Failure is more common than success and some of the most successful people failed many times before  they achieved their goals.
  • Failing to try is trying to fail.
  • You might be surprised by your own success, but you won’t know if you don’t try.
  • Spending more time on a subject always boosts capacity to understand it – that goes for any subject.
  • Taking a new approach to a difficult subject could make all the difference.

If the results show your teen has a growth mindset, then well done, homeschooling parent! You’re ready to visit our next blog in this series.

If you have questions about the JMHS homeschooling/online high school curriculum, please call 1-800-349-6861 to speak to an admissions advisor.

In the next blog: Tips to Help Your Teen Get the Best Results from High School Homeschooling Online.

About the Author

James Madison High School

James Madison High School

Our blog comes to you live from our high school students and community. Dive in to hear more from current students, alumni, and experts as we celebrate our student's accomplishments, persistence, and passions.