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5 Ways to Break the Hold of Senioritis

by Jessica Parnell | May 02, 2017 | 3 min read

It’s almost the end of the year and many of you are counting the days until the summer begins. While most homeschoolers get out of bed just dreaming of days when they can sleep later, there’s one group who’s longing for summer more than any other, high school seniors. So for seniors expecting to graduate in a few short months, they are most likely experiencing a strange but normal phenomenon, one that causes decreased motivation, fatigue, and a strong desire to throw the textbooks out the window. And you, the homeschool parents of a senior, may be experiencing the frustration of living with this phenomenon each day. Senioritis has hit thousands of graduating high school students and, while we may be tempted to brush it off as a passing phase, the reality is that senioritis can cause serious damage and derail hard work and carefully laid plans. Here are five ways to break the hold of senioritis, and a plan for how to arrive successfully at homeschool graduation without losing your mind!

5 Ways to Beat Senioritis

  1. Remember how hard the road has been to get here, and how painful it would be to blow it now! Seniors often feel as though they can coast through the end of the year, letting due dates or assignments slide, sleeping late and not giving their best, even in important subjects. But, the stakes are still high, especially for students who have been accepted to a college or university. Admissions officials at colleges will review final GPA’s and reconsider admissions decisions and scholarships for those who fall behind or who have a significant drop. Not giving their all at the end of this journey can put all you’ve worked for in jeopardy.
  2. Dream big, because it’s not too late. Senioritis can sap the energy and focus of even the best students, taking them off course from their dreams. Maybe they have a plan for the fall, maybe not. It’s not too late to make these dreams a reality. If your student is not sure of what they want to do with their life, consider a gap year or internship. A gap year could give them the time and space they need to decide. Or, if they have narrowed down a few possibilities, try an internship to see if they’re on the right track. Whatever they decide, keep moving forward. It’s never too late to dream.
  3. Loosen the reigns and enjoy the ride, but stay focused. While you can’t completely let off the gas (if you’re a senior or the parent of a senior), it’s important that this is an unforgettable time. Enjoy prom, plan a graduation party, and shop for the long list of college freshman needs. You only get to live this season once, so enjoy it. But, be sure to stay focused on what your goals are each step of the way.
  4. Make college or job preparation your most important subject. If senioritis has set in, your senior is most likely hitting the snooze button each morning or letting those deadlines slide a bit. And, while homeschooling may give them the freedom to chart their own schedule and fudge due dates, college or the work force won’t be so lenient. They’ll have to stick to a schedule, meet deadlines, and be responsible. So view this time as a season to develop habits that will serve them well in college and work life. Have your seniors set their alarm, set a daily schedule and calendar (and stick with it, and learn how to budget their money, open a bank account, do laundry, pay bills, make repairs to their car, etc. These last few weeks is their last leg at home with mom and dad’s guidance so get them ready for the reality of college and adult life. When they start their new adventure in the fall, these habits will set them on the path towards achieving their new goals no matter what new challenges they face.
  5. Be determined to finish well. Sure the fear of losing a scholarship or not getting the job recommendation may drive your senior to stay on top of their grades. Remind your senior that they’ve worked too hard to let it slip. And, if they’ve had a struggling season, it’s not too late to finish strong. Imagine the satisfaction they’ll receive knowing that they worked hard and achieved their goals despite their strong desires to sleep until noon or set fire to their textbooks. Finishing well can give them the motivation and confidence they need to tackle the new transitions and challenges that the fall will bring.

No matter where your seniors head after graduation, all seniors are in the same boat this spring. Stay focused, remind them of how far they’ve come, and help them visualize goals to ensure they get to where they’re dreaming of this fall. And, of course, enjoy the ride.

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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