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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

Is your teenager bored with school? If so, you may need to do something at home to help bring a little life into his various school subjects. Here are a few suggestions:

• For boring textbook material, try acting out the work, creating a little skit or play to illustrate the concepts or facts covered. For example, if your teen isn’t getting into a chapter on the Civil War in his U.S. history book, then suggest that he act out the battle described with some of his friends or family members.

• Alternatively, if he enjoys art, suggest that he make a sketch or painting of the battlefield. Or, suggest that he close his eyes and see in his mind’s eye whatever the material describes as vividly as possible.

• Try to draw connections between the material he is learning in his textbooks with more concrete learning experiences. If he’s stumbling with a Shakespearean play, find a video of the play and watch it together. If Boyles’ law doesn’t make any sense in chemistry, then blow up a balloon and show him how lowering the total volume increases the pressure.

In these and other ways, you can help light little fires of interest in your teenager’s mind.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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