If there’s one thing I know about homeschool moms, it’s that we love to focus on the good things that happen during our homeschool time.
In our efforts to express to people how much we love this way of life, we can sometimes forget that people, especially other homeschoolers, need to hear the negative aspects, as well.
Today I’m going to set the record straight on one thing…
Not all kids adore homeschooling.
In fact, some children will go so far as to say that they hate it. If you happen to be the parent of one of these kids, I’m going to offer some encouragement to you today.
Firstly, I would like to point out that every child has good days and bad days. I’m guessing that homeschoolers who never complain about their school work are few and far between.
So today’s post isn’t necessarily about those kids who occasionally grumble about homeschooling when they’re in a bad mood. I’m talking about the kids who fight you tooth and nail every single day and sometimes outright tell you how much they despise learning at home.
Yeah. They do exist.
A knee jerk reaction to this often involves sending the child back to school. And while that decision is entirely up to each individual family, I really feel the need to point out one thing:
School probably won’t work much better.
Oftentimes, the children who refuse to cooperate with their parents do so because they are exceedingly strong-willed. They don’t like being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. In cases like this, obviously a traditional school setting will only make things worse.
So what should you do? There is no easy answer to this question, but for those of you in this situation, I’m going to share with you….
5 Things You Need to Ask Yourself If Your Child Hates Homeschooling
1. Am I providing ample time for my child to explore and develop friendships?
One of the things I like most about homeschooling is that it allows me to bring some structure into an otherwise chaotic household. That being said, it can be extremely easy to add too much structure.
Homeschooled children need time to explore the world around them, pursue their own interests, and develop lasting friendships. Just as with kids in brick and mortar schools, if you overschedule them and plan out too much of their time, they’re going to burn out, and it will show.
2. Am I too focused on imitating school?
I think it’s fair to say that most homeschooling parents today went to some sort of traditional school, whether public or private. Since that is the educational model most of us have grown up with, by default it becomes the method we try too eagerly to replicate at home.
Keep in mind that the reason schools operate the way they do, among other things, is that they’ve got 20-30 students in each class and very little money to spend. What this results in is a very tepid, boring approach to learning. Compounded by the fact that schools are now focusing more on standardized test scores than actual teaching, why would anyone try to imitate that?
Kids simply aren’t meant to sit still for 6-7 hours a day doing worksheets. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to let your kids move around, take breaks, and pursue learning in a way that interests them and fits their learning styles.
Don’t invite public school techniques into your home. Take advantage of all that homeschooling has to offer.
3. Am I guilty of Homeschool Legalism?
Don’t know what that is? It’s pretty straightforward. If you are more concerned with checking off boxes, completing curriculum, and never deviating from your lesson plans than you are with family relationships, this might be you.
Never, ever forget what it is that you’re doing. You are HOMEschooling. Never let the “school” part of your day overtake the “home” portion. Never.
You are a mom (or dad) before you are a teacher. And that’s the truth.
4. Am I too worried about what other people think?
Do you find that the only reason you’re doing a lot of things in your homeschool is because you’re trying to live up to someone else’s standards? Do you find yourself freaking out and adding new subjects when you hear about all the great things other homeschooling families are doing? Do you frequently compare your kids with the public school kids in your neighborhood?
Stop. Just stop.
What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s okay. Really. Your family might be awesome at something that other families could never handle.
Don’t steal the joy in your homeschool by believing that you have to be like everyone else.
After all, isn’t that one of the reasons you don’t send your kids to school? To salvage their individuality?
5. How is my attitude while we’re homeschooling?
I’m the first to admit, that I have my days that I am just not a happy homeschool mom. Rest assured that it happens to everyone. What you need to remember, however, is that your attitude will set the tone for your homeschool.
Yes, your attitude.
How often do you smile or laugh while you’re helping your children? Do you find that you’re feeling grumpy more than you’re feeling joy?
You will never have a happy homeschool if you yourself have a hard time being pleasant. I’m not telling you to be fake and just pretend. That won’t help anyone. All I suggest is that you intentionally try to be positive and encouraging while you’re in the midst of your daily homeschool routine.
I find that we moms can often be grumpy simply because we’re worn out or stressed. If that’s the case, take a break and just enjoy your kids.
Moms with kind hearts and good attitudes often have kids with kind hearts and good attitudes.
Just give it a try!
Dealing with a child who hates the homeschooling lifestyle can be discouraging, draining, and stressful. Before you throw in the towel and send your child back to school, consider what I’ve written today.
Your child just may thank you for it.