This guest post is part of our 30 Days of Homeschool: The Good, The Bad & The In-Between Blog Series
Homeschooling your children is one of the best decisions you can make concerning your kids. Homeschooling builds family honor, bonds, and trust far beyond that of the family that public schools their children. Homeschooling allows your child to learn at their own pace in an environment you control.
Homeschooling is many wonderful things, but one thing it most definitely is not . . . is easy.
In fact, homeschooling just might be one of the hardest things you ever do.
Eight Tips for When Your Child Refuses to Do Schoolwork
It’s no secret to homeschoolers that there are days when the kids just don’t cooperate. As frustrating as it can be, these difficult days are always worth it in the end. In eight years of homeschooling, I’ve learned a few things about the kid who refuses to do schoolwork.
Below you’ll find eight tips to help you get to the root cause of the problem.
Have a heart to heart
Having a conversation is always a good starting point. Sit down face to face and try to find out what’s going on. Is this something beyond normal childhood grumpiness?
Is she bored? Maybe the work is too easy.
Does she need some extra attention or one on one time and this is her way of crying out?
Consider a change of pace
Sometimes you just need a change of pace to turn those frowny faces upside down. A special outing or playdate are always welcome changes.
Changing location from the normal school spot can help too. Doing school outside on a picnic table or the porch always excited the kids and makes school a bit more fun. I’ve even gone so far as to pile everyone in my king size bed and do school there. It’s funny what the kids consider fun.
What about a snack? I love snacks, don’t you? Having a regular snack time each day helps break up the day and establish a routine.
Consider their age and subject readiness
Like many new homeschooling mothers, I made the mistake of trying to “do school” too early. In the beginning, I rushed the kids because I was so excited to get started. I learned I had to wait until they were ready.
That thought follows through to the different subjects too. Some kids read at five. Some read at nine.
Some kids are math whizzes and others aren’t. If this attitude is coming right after a curriculum or method change, I bet your child is frustrated with the new material.
Consider the distractions
Just like us, kids get frustrated with distractions too. Is there a baby crying? A TV on somewhere? Is someone playing the piano or a video game in another room?
Cutting down on distractions has helped my freshman enormously. She just doesn’t function well with so much going on. The answer for her was to do most of her schoolwork in her room.
Ask your child if the noises and goings on of everyday life are distracting and if so, work out a plan, together.
Consider their learning style
Establishing your child’s learning style early on will cut down on much undue stress and frustration later down the line. There are many questionnaires and tests online to help you with this is if it’s not overly obvious.
I guarantee you, if your kids’ curriculum doesn’t speak to their learning style, you’ve found the source of your problem.
Consider a short break
Sometimes you just need a break. Giving them a break from school (or a break from each other!) can be a multitude of help in getting attitudes back to the good. Whether it’s just the afternoon off or the rest of the week, rest in the knowledge that this time off will be good for everyone, even you, mama.
Last, but certainly not least, try not to stress.
The work will get done in the end. Once you figure out the root problem and get it resolved, you’ll be back on the productivity track- until your next derailment – but such is the homeschooling life.
Don’t worry about the workbooks and checkboxes being done. Homeschooling is so much more than that. Trust me, when your child graduates, it’s not the workbooks she’ll remember. It will be you, and the moments you shared together.
Jeniffer is a homeschool mom of six who focuses on collecting memories instead of things. Her minimalist attitude helps her keep the house somewhat clean and fresh, delicious food on the table without breaking the bank. She stretches every penny, makes every moment count, and is never far from a good book and cup of coffee. You’ll find her journey of frugal living and homeschooling her brood at Thou Shall Not Whine.