|

Motivating Your Homeschooled Child

Having trouble motivating your kids? When it's time to do "school stuff," are your kids less than enthusiastic? Join the club! I've never met a homeschooling parent who has not faced this challenging situation. How do parents get past this difficult phase? Is it possible to turn your family's learning time into a cooperative experience? To answer these questions, we first must examine some basic assumptions about learning.

In a traditional classroom, the teacher follows a pre-determined curriculum. All students are expected to learn the same thing at the same time, regardless of the individual child's interests or ability. Each subject is broken down into many smaller components, and frequent tests indicate who is getting it and who is not. Some students struggle to keep up, while others catch on quickly and are bored. As a result, behavior and discipline problems may develop. This type of teaching may be necessary when 20 or 30 students are learning in a classroom setting, but it is not necessary in a homeschool environment.

Unfortunately, many parents attempt to re-create the school environment at home. Let's face it -- that's all most of us know. It's no surprise that kids who learn at home in a structured environment often react the same way schooled kids do. They get bored or tired and become cranky and uncooperative. The problem is not the child, but the erroneous idea that every child must learn a particular block of information at a particular age or grade.

It takes a giant leap of faith to believe that your children can and will learn without lesson plans and curricula. Former teacher John Holt discusses child-led learning in his groundbreaking book, How Children Learn. Holt demonstrates that true learning occurs in a variety of ways – textbooks and workbooks often being the least effective. The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child's Classroom by Mary Griffith describes how to create an environment where joyful learning occurs.

For tips on how to nurture the love of learning in your homeschooling environment, read the following list of things to do – and things to avoid.

|


highlights

6 Sweet Gestures for Teacher Appreciation Week
Show your child's teacher how much she is loved with one of these meaningful homemade gestures for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6)!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for Screen-Free Week (May 2-8) or an emoji-themed birthday party.

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks