Friday, May 4, 2012

Keeping Your Child Motivated When Homeschooling

Eleven O'Clock: Lesson time


The lack thereof can hit either the student or the teacher. What do you do? School needs to be done.

I've written before about teacher burnout {lack of motivation}.  Today I'll offer some ideas to tackle lack of motivation in children. I am assuming you are already doing the obvious of praying for guidance.

Alternate Teaching Methods - I've found when one of my children is reluctant to do school or a certain subject it is usually because they don't understand a concept. Having an alternate method to teach the same concept can really help. Knowing about their learning styles is also helpful. Sometimes what worked for one child just doesn't work as well for another. I've written about different learning styles. Each post has teaching suggestions to gear your teaching to the way your child learns best.

Learning Styles: The Basics
Learning Styles: Multiple Intelligences
Linguistic, Read, Write Learners
Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners
Spatial Learners
Naturalistic Learners
Musical Learners

Change things up!  Sometimes just readjusting your schedule or even the location you do school can help a great deal. Is it a nice day outside? Then go out and have school picnic style! Create a tent in your living room. Pretend to ride the bus {complete with sound effects} making wrong turns here and there, describing what you see out the window.  This one is always fun and has everyone laughing and ready to tackle their school work by the time we finally "arrive" at school.

Go back to the basics. It's okay to just do "easy" school some days. These posts have suggestions for reviewing the basics in fun ways.

Quick Math Games
Easy Writing Activities
Creative Writing Activities

READ!!  If all else fails just read with your child. Don't do anything else but read aloud. Choose books that are diverse. I recommend using the Sonlight read aloud lists {click on each read aloud list in the upper right blue box} or those at Ambleside Online. There is also a good list of books to supplement history.

You'll find if you just read and sometimes ask questions their curiosity will be peaked and they'll want to learn more. Ask them to show you in what country the story takes place. Does it take place at a certain time in history? What else was going on the world at that time? One question will lead to another and before you know it they are learning something new. Was it what you wanted them to learn originally? No. But that is okay! The point is they are learning.

Just keep going. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but just keep going. Eventually they need to learn that they have to stick to what is being taught, the way it is being taught. I usually reserve this ulthmatum until my children are older {above 12 years old}. By this age they understand that there will be times {college} that they will just have to do it. And they can and be better for it.

What are some ways you have dealt with a lack of motivation in your children? Any tips you have to share? Please comment and discuss!

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