Are your kids just not motivated? Do they think they can get by with the bare minimum? Do they keep blaming you and making excuses?
A facebook friend of mine had posted a video that she had showed to her kids in order to motivate them to take ownership of their work and be more accountable for their grades. I thought that it could really apply to my class. A couple of weeks ago, it was the halfway week of our semester (I think I had said this before but my kids take a year long course in a semester, yeah, it's pretty fast). Being the halfway mark and seeing how the kids, for the most part, were struggling to stay up to speed and do well in my class, it was time for an intervention. Our administration had mentioned in a faculty meeting that it might be a good idea to offer an "intercession" where the kids get time in class to continue to work on their missing assignments or low grades (likewise, we're on a mastery systems so my kids are constantly doing corrections or other work to fix their test grades).
Now being the stubborn person that I am, I didn't want to completely just hand the day over to them. I wanted my kids to think about it. So I showed them this video.
After watching the video, this is when I said, "I wish the ending had said "Earn Mastery" because you have to work for it. My class isn't easy, it's the last class you take for your required high school credit and next up, is college level courses. I won't just give you mastery. Just like Michael Jordan did, you will have to work for it and there might be some failure along the way but learning from your mistakes and fixing them, is what will get you mastery."
I then explained how the day would work and for the most part, I had a pile of grading to do with kids handing me all sorts of old material and tests corrections (I had also printed out a grade report for each kid with highlights and notes for each child).
So the next time you want to motivate your kids, maybe use this video or find another. If you do find another, I'd love it if you'd share :)