How To Help Your Child Through a Bad Homeschool DayMarlene Griffith
As parents, we would all like to see our kids eager to tackle their daily homeschool lessons. But the truth is – just like there are days when we aren’t feeling it – there will be days that they feel the same. Here is how to handle these terrible, horrible, no good very bad homeschool days when your child’s attitude, energy level, and enthusiasm are less than ideal.
It’s important not to force a child who is pushing back when it comes to school work. Much like in day-to-day personal circumstances, pushing back aggressively typically makes the problem worse. So take a moment to think before reacting.
2. Figure out what is causing the issue.
I think a huge mistake is immediately reprimanding the behavior without knowing what is causing that behavior. Sure, a firm set of directions may be necessary to calm the situation in the moment, but it is not a long-term resolution. Talk with your child to figure out what is causing this push-back.
Are they tired? Are they hungry? Are they bottling up some feelings due to an issue that’s going on at home? Maybe they are at the age of puberty, and they need help working through the fluctuating feelings that the hormonal changes bring on.
There could be an array of reasons for this push back, especially if this is new or it’s not a common occurrence. And let’s be honest, it very may well be just them testing boundaries or having a bad attitude.
When our children show reluctance towards their school work it’s rarely just about the school work. It’s normally something much deeper that is manifesting itself in a bad attitude.
3. Begin to work through the issue.
Once you’ve isolated the root of this problem, work through it with your child. If it’s something that will take long-term work, plan your homeschool accordingly. Lessons may need to be adjusted for a period of time depending on what the issue is.
While working through the issue, don’t harp too much on how they behaved. Yes, let them know negative attitudes are not acceptable and won’t be tolerated, but don’t make this the only thing that is worked through. When children have inner issues, they need to have a safe setting to talk through it.
And a safe setting means that they aren’t more focused on being in trouble than they should be on working through the deeper issue at hand.
I’m a no-nonsense mama. But I try always to understand where my kids are coming from. If they are grumpy and lazy with their school work because they are tired, they will know that this isn’t acceptable. In fact, they know this beforehand but their grump is so intense that they didn’t consider the consequences. This tells me that I need to remind them this is unacceptable that they must really be struggling with something that I need to make time now to deal with.
4. Remember, homeschooling isn’t just about doing school at home.
Homeschooling is about educating the whole child, not just their brains. Fortunately as homeschoolers, we have a safe setting at home to to set aside academics and work through any issues that arise.
It’s not always roses and daisies in life. Children will deal with external problems when they are focusing on the mundane aspects of life. This will happen all the way through their adulthood too. It’s not going to get any easier, and conflicts in life aren’t going to cease to exist.
The tools we use to help them work through any issue will be learned by them. They’ll take these tools and apply them to their lives as they get older. Remember, our children, regardless of age, mimic what we do and how we treat them. How you handle a bad homeschool day can deeply impact your child’s long-term emotional well-being.