How to motivate a 10-year-old?

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teachinator
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How to motivate a 10-year-old?

Unread post by teachinator » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:58 am

I have been tutoring a 10-year-old from China for the past six months. He is now in the fifth grade in a US elementary school.

This young man is outgoing and talkative and maybe a tiny bit ADHD. He has no problem communicating verbally in English, but he really needs to improve his spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and in particular his verb tenses, even in speaking, but especially in writing. If I can't get him moving up, he's going to have trouble performing at his grade level, but I'm having trouble getting him to be motivated to work on what he needs to improve. It's hard to keep him focused. He wants to tell me about whatever is going on in his life, which is great, but I need to get him improving

At first he was enthusiastic about crossword puzzles and similar games, but then one day he said, "I really don't like these any more." He loves Minecraft and is getting some vocabulary from reading Minecraft fantasy novels aloud with me, but school really demands non-fiction and more academic vocabulary, and especially, writing! He resists writing and when he does it, his verb tenses continue to be all wrong. After all these months, he still keeps making many of the same basic errors, sometimes from inattention (he can fix them when I ask him to think about it), but sometimes because he still doesn't get the need to use the past tense.

All I can think of to do is have him write about his summer, his vacations, his hobbies, and so on, and also to give him exercises where he has to change verbs from present tense to past tense. But I feel kind of stuck. Does anyone have any ideas on working with an active, not a bit shy kid, to get him invested in improving his own skills?

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