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Have you ever wonder why your homeschool children are unwilling to learn? As parents, you must have tried hard to motivate them to touch the book, to ask questions, and to initiate some learning action. There are times when my children really pull my hair. It sounds that I am the one that both need and want to learn. They look so reluctant in doing any subjects they have. At the same time, it is only playing or other entertaining activities that they have in their head.
When it is occasionally, that will be better. On the other hand, you must be quite stressful when you don't find any change in their attitude. That condition might affect your mood as well, so that you might start thinking of being burnt out in homeschooling. Yeah, it happened to me a couple of times. I know I cannot let this continue to happen.
Whatever the grade level is, It will be very hard for parents when kids don't want to learn from their own willingness. The young children who are not touchable by the test and exams might still have lighter burden, but the older children, let's say the middle schoolers, will make parents more worried, I think.
I have experienced the same case, when my children only want to play. People say that playing means learning. However, the teenagers who like playing the video games or watching television will not get any significant benefits in their academic and character growth mostly. We have prepared their daily tracker or todo list and they have it already. Unfortunately, they are too ignorant to follow everything. It is very difficult to follow their list until it finishes. At the same time, they are very moody due to their teenage puberty.
Make Homeschool Children Want to learn
Well, from my reflection and experience with my children, I make some notes and put the points in my mind to share with you some lessons I learn from my homeschool children who don't want to learn.
Being Involved in Their Learning
When you feel the symptoms that your children start to be not enthusiastic to learn, you need to go to them and being more involved in their learning. If you have early childhood learners as old as preschoolers and kindergarteners, this tips might sound weird, because parents are usually involved a lot in their learning. However, when kids are getting older, parents start to hand all the learning process gradually or even extremely since they are more and more independent. Probably, children in the middle school ages feel more comfortable when they learn independently.
When the mood of learning is getting decreased, parents need to interfere more on what the teens are learning and how they do that. Show your interest and share your experience or opinion toward the topic. Give alternatives how to do something. If you don't understand or if you don't have any idea on what they learn, just ask them to teach you or tell you what they have.
Know their learning pattern and style
There are a lot of factors that make the learning pattern changes. It happens to all of my children at the moment. Some kids are not good in learning early in the morning. They will be restless and look sleepy whatever effort we make to make him fit. However, when it is evening, they can work better. I guess it dues to the calmer energy that remains in the evening. That is one example of learning patterns.
Another example is about learning styles. My auditory child changes now to be visual. I won't know about it when I had not let him done his mathematics by himself. I was very surprised that he can learn better by self-reading rather than listening, as what he had been doing.
Based on my experience, it is better to follow children's learning pattern rather than confronting to it. Once they are more mature and stable, they will return to the “normal” learning pattern
Keep yourself excited
When kids are getting reluctant in learning, you need to do a self-reflection as well. Are you interested enough to accompany them learning? Are you in good mood as well? When mommies are happy, the rest of the family will be. Therefore, it is very important for parents, especially moms, to maintain their mood.
- Have good and enough sleep
- Manage the time for learning and working well
- Consume healthy food and vitamin
- Do some religious activities (if you belong to certain religion)
- Reward yourself
That will add up your mood and enthusiasm. Thus, you will give more influence for your children to be more enthusiastic in learning.
Let children learn independently
The monotone lessons usually happen due to the use of textbooks or the regular routines. Being bored is something normal. However, it should be solved very soon. Otherwise, it might ruin the love of learning. One way to get out of the boredom is to let the children. I have a couple of great stories about exploration that are impressing memories of homeschooling my children.
We use a curriculum for our science lessons. We really love Elemental Science a lot and save our money to purchase the books and we follow the lessons. One day, we had a book fair in our town. Kids don't want to learn using any books limited to the curriculum. Then, they do more exploration with the books we purchased in the book fair based on the scope and sequence of Elemental Science. Kids learn more lovely. They read the books, browse the internet for the related topics, ask questions a lot, watch Youtube. They always think about the topic they learn from morning to night. That is amazing.
Another experience of exploration is dealing with hated subjects. My three sons have their own petpeeves in subjects. I worried a lot that they had been very reluctant in learning those subjects. I tried hard to help them. It worked for several years, but it still cannot motivate them naturally. I always think when my homeschool children learn independently.
It seems that the time had not come yet. One day, I left them learned independently while I had something to take care. They learned through the reference and text book. When I returned, I was surprised thay the got more than when I learned with them. Of course, I still have to obeserve them closely.
Build a habit
Learning is a habit. I agree completely that we cannot force children if they don't like. Otherwise, they will hate learning more than before. However, we cannot just let them do whatever they want all of the time. We do more classical approach in our learning. In history, we learn that the monk in the middle age has great discipline in working, learning, and religious practice. Whether the like it or not, they have to do what is in the routine.
Of course, we cannot be so strict when children don't want to learn. We still cannot dismiss the learning time for several times. However, we can change the learning activities or experience to be more flexible. When they don't like reading, they still have to do reading, but you do it in different way untill the reading habit grow. We need to be patient about this.
Great Amount of Patience
Every child is unique because they live in unique family with unique parents and environment. Parents should know better than anyone else about their children. Therefore, we need to believe that we know the best action to do when children don't want to learn. There are a lot of opinion, but I am very sure that parents need great amount of patience.
What do you do when your homeschool children don't want to learn? Please share your experience and comment.
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.