Hearing other homeschoolers say how excited their child is about a new unit study, a new curriculum or the new school year when you may feel your child is not can certainly make you feel alone.
Do you have a child that is only thinking about what is required so he can spend the rest of the day playing, on the computer or his device?
Facing head on potential road blocks in our homeschool journey like when homeschooled kids are not excited about ordinary days or about anything pertaining to learning is the way I always prefer to tackle hurdles but I didn’t always feel so confident.
Do you feel that homeschooling is like choosing the lesser of two evils? You are in good company and not alone.
When I started homeschooling I had conjured up a vision that because my education lacked in many areas that my sons would be bright-eyed and eager to learn every day.
I was excited to learn about all of the things I never did in school, but also I was determined to make my sons’ experiences different than mine.
Back to reality, I have had many times when the only thought on my boys’ mind was when is school going to be done so they can get on the computer, turn on the game or eat the left over pizza in the refrigerator.
Guess what? That is why they are not in charge. Let me share a few of my coping techniques.
Whose job is this anyway?
Early on I made it clear to my sons that it is their job to learn even if I am the most boring teacher.
Just like I would be working on my teaching skills, I made sure my kids knew what their role was in homeschooling.
Don’t think that parents who pull their kids out of public school in which they may have had a bad experience are the only ones that deal with a spoon-fed mentality by kids.
Learning to learn is a process for our kids. It is cultivated and nurtured through time and experiences.
There are many days our kids want to just play mindless games and sit back while we spoon feed them. They are really no different than us if we give in to that inner person or side of our personality that just doesn’t want to show up some days to teach.
The difference between our kids and us of course is not only age but the ability to see the disastrous results if we live our life or homeschool in a mindless way.
Like us, the first step in getting children infused with learning is to teach them that what they can control is to show up at school with a positive attitude.
I have found through the years that instead of putting down how they may feel about homeschooling, I give it merit or validate it.
When our children see that we too as adults have the same feelings at times, it not only makes them feel that they are not alone, but that they can share the negative side of homeschooling and not be chastised for it.
Communicating true feelings even when our homeschooling may be boring is a wake up reminder that we might need to change a few things.
Attitude is the first subtle change to making a difference in our learning and that is something that nobody else can control.
If my children are old enough to cop an attitude about learning, they are old enough to start understanding the disastrous results.
I find it is better to be frank, set boundary lines for learning and explain why you have them for your children than for them to think life is going to be about eating their favorite leftovers of cold pizza each day.
A lot of things in life are just about doing things that we find boring and mundane but we will show up.
“I am not an entertainment act.“
We carry a lot of guilt as moms and negative thinking can make inroads in our hearts.
It is hard to carry around the guilt that our day doesn’t look as exciting as another family’s day.
That clear cut line, in that your child knows your expectations, allows them to work on their positive attitude while you decide where you can make improvement.
While I am sharing secrets, did I tell you that my lapbooks and unit studies were born out of my desire to be a better teacher?
I use to think lapbooks where for only young children. I set a bar for myself, like I do for my sons and wanted my teaching and activities to be something that draws my sons to learning.
Sharing my unit studies and lapbooks allowed me to not only set a standard for the type of teacher I wanted to be but it also shoved deep down that tyrannical mother I could be when it came to learning.
I have learned to let go of the fact that it’s not my fault that some days are just well – routine.
Life and school are very similar because life is more about routine than life altering moments.
I have learned that from routine comes the tiny moments I cherish in homeschooling.
Teaching my sons to value routine was also the start of changing their attitude about learning when most people may think that routine is boring.
Establish a routine.
We all have interruptions in our school.
It can be hard to break the habit of letting things that are nonessential take over our day and break our routine.
I feel all homeschoolers crave routine even though sometimes we don’t recognize our natural desire to have a flow to day that we can predict.
Following our body’s natural rhythm to sleep, eat and move around, we have that same desire to learn and be educated.
When my sons know what to expect each day and don’t wander around aimlessly asking what we are going to do each day, it makes for calm in my home.
Post a visual homeschool schedule if your children are young or post a class schedule in their notebooks if your children are older.
Help them to get started on time by not having so much chaos in the house that it is distracting to their routine.
I still find everything fascinating about learning but more importantly I find happiness in being passionate about teaching my sons.
Enthusiasm is contagious and it starts with you, not them.
It doesn’t mean we don’t require a positive attitude when our children show up for learning, but it means we model the type of adults we want our children to eventually be.
Weaved into that attitude is the reason we are excited about showing up each day to homeschool.
I don’t believe the only reason we should be eager learners is to get a good paying job or to go to college but for the gift of curiosity.
Curiosity has sticking power unlike any career or any college degree.
I have also learned that it is my job to try to make each day a little better than the next day.
Because I can’t sing, dance or draw my sons will have to accept I will do my best to teach and I will accept that they will do their best to show up for days that are just ordinary.
How about you? Are most of your days just ordinary?
Hugs and love ya,
Check out these other tips!