It’s February, the month of love!
Whether or not Valentine’s Day is your thing, it’s a lovely opportunity to remember to put love front and center when there are homeschooling frustration, meltdowns, and power struggles.
One of the best ways for homeschoolers to feel loved, is to make them feel heard.
As a homeschooling parent, you know your child better than anyone, but that doesn’t mean that you know everything they are experiencing.
See if this scenario sounds familiar –
You ask your child to do an assignment. They say no.
You say some motivating words along the lines of “you can do it!”
But your child’s reaction doesn’t change. So, you try the carrot and offer them something they want as soon as they finish.
Your child still refuses to do the assignment. You start to feel frustrated and possibly a little angry.
You then go for the figurative stick and threaten to take away something they want if they don’t do that assignment.
If your child is able to do the assignment, they’ll probably do it begrudgingly so they don’t lose something important to them.
If they aren’t able to do the assignment, they’ll get really upset at the idea of losing something important to them. And you’ll probably get upset at their reaction.
There is another way…
Instead of heading straight for a power struggle or a negative consequence if your homeschooler doesn’t do an assignment, what would happen if you set aside the assignment and asked your homeschooler why they don’t want to do it?
How do you think your homeschooler would feel if you let them know that what they think and feel is more important than that one assignment being completed?
Here are some questions to ask your homeschooler:
- Are you feeling okay?
- Are you hungry or thirsty?
- It seems like you don’t want to do this, can you tell me why?
- Would you like me to explain anything?
- Is there any way I can help you?
- It’s still learning time, so can you tell me what activity you would rather do now?
So, as a homeschooling parent you have the advantage of time and flexibility. You can take the time to ask questions and have conversations to find out what your homeschooler needs. And you have the flexibility to modify or set aside an assignment and teach your child in a way better suited to your child’s learning style.
Learning takes so many different forms and there is more than one way to learn something, right?
Just as there’s an art to teaching, there’s an art to homeschooling. Figuring out how to homeschool your unique child starts with ditching any assumptions you may have about their abilities, work ethic, or interests and having meaningful conversations to really understand how you can best meet their learning needs.
As always, I’m here to support you in creating the right homeschooling experience for your family.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Afsaneh has been an educator for over 20 years. She has taught students from preschool to graduate school and now homeschools her own child and coaches homeschooling families in how to teach their children based on individual learning styles, interests, needs, and connection so that the whole family can thrive. She is also the author of the picture books series Jamie is Jamie.