Homeschooling a reluctant learner driving you crazy? Keep your cool with these tips:
I am speaking from experience in this post. I’ve been homeschooling a reluctant learner. In fact, I’ve been homeschooling two. I’ve lost my cool at times because I’m human, after all. And it can be hard to be enthusiastic when you’re met with constant resistance. But it’s also possible to break through if you’re patient, consistent and calm. Below are some hacks for keeping your head when your child doesn’t want to learn:
- Consider deschooling. If you’re at the beginning of your homeschooling journey, your child might need some time to adjust to the new normal. And it might take longer than you think. We deschooled for almost a year and a half. And it’s the best thing we ever did! Before being ready to learn, the kids were so resistant and I was so resentful. So I let them play and have fun until they were ready.
- Reward your children. I know that there is the school of thought that believes that children should do things because they want to. And in principle, I think this is awesome. But some children are just not wired that way. They might need to be praised and rewarded for doing schoolwork. We have a reward chart that we use for the kids. (You can sign up and then download it here.) It includes chores and but also schoolwork. And it has really worked wonders for us. I think it gives the kids motivation and also teaches them to work towards something that they really want.
- Find what works. This means finding the right resources or curriculum. And this can take some time and some jumping around. It also means finding the rhythm that works well for everybody. And you must include yourself into this as well! We sometimes homeschool at night or over the weekends. But then we also take days off when we need to. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! You can be flexible with your hours so don’t be afraid to chop and change.
- Set daily goals. Every morning we chat about our goals for the day. We usually only set about five, so that it’s not too much for me and the kids. I put the goals up somewhere where they can see them. And I cross them off during the day. I think this is vital for keeping them involved in their learning. And they can also see progress, which is rewarding in itself!
- Ditch the schedule. Sometimes your kids are just not in the mood. It can happen to the best of us! And instead of teaching them when they’re not going to be receptive in any way, why not take a day off and do something fun? One day is not going to hurt. You’ll probably find that your kids will be more eager to learn the following day. And it will definitely save you from losing your sh*t!