How to Motivate Your Homeschooler
- Jessica Parnell HomeschoolingHelp.com
- 2014 28 Feb
Having trouble motivating your child? When it’s time to do school work are your children less than enthusiastic? You are not alone. Here are a few good tips and suggestions that will make your homeschooling experience more fun and hassle-free:
Some children need quiet and structure in order to learn. If this describes your child, arrange your house so that it is “education-friendly.” Have a separate room that is used just for homeschooling. Keep the atmosphere educational. Make sure all your supplies are kept in one area and not all over the house. Keep unnecessary distractions away from the study area.
Other children work better in a more chaotic atmosphere, or in an environment that allows them to get up and move. If this describes your child, give him freedom to find a place that works. Standing up at the counter, rolled up in a ball under a table, sprawled out on the living room floor...This is tough on a parent who needs structure (like me), but if you can wrap your arms around it, it can mean the difference between constant struggle and enthusiastic learning.
Gear your studies and projects to your child’s interests. There are many avenues of learning today, such as research papers, projects, speeches, field trips, Internet searches, interviews, library visits, etc. Be creative; children learn in different ways. Many times, just giving your child the freedom to direct the learning can provide motivation as well as insight into the passions and strengths of your child. I am always amazed at the projects my children design. Not only are they often at a higher level of difficulty than I would have chosen, but they are usually exciting and appreciated much more than anything I would have assigned.
Make learning fun! Every subject does not have to be taught the same way. Use creative methods of teaching. Lecturing, workbooks, chalkboards, dry erase boards, hands-on activities are just the beginning. Your goal is to inspire a love for learning that will be life long. Making it enjoyable is a great first step. The Internet has many websites geared just for children. There are many educational games out there as well that can be played independently or as a family.
Set reasonable and appropriate goals (lesson plans) for the day! Set goals that can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time. Look to see what is being covered in all subjects and set goals accordingly.
Use incentives to help your child learn, or use them just as rewards for doing a great job. Adults like incentives, rewards, and bonuses for jobs well done and children are no different! They don’t have to be big rewards either. All kinds of rewards are effective:
1. A pat on the back, a hug, a smile.
2. A word of encouragement goes a long way!
3. A surprise meal out when the student gets a certain amount of work accomplished each quarter or month.
4. Give them a reward of some type for each letter grade they receive on their report card. If you use this method, make sure you give a reward for all grades and not just A’s.
Don’t forget field trips and break times. Children need these activities to help them in the schooling process. Field trips can be educational or recreational.
Recognize progress daily. Use positive statements instead of negative statements. Be affirming not condescending.
Read to or let your child read everyday. Reading helps stimulate the child’s brain, rouses curiosity, and helps with the acquisition of knowledge.
Become your child’s learning partner. Just as a child wants you to play with them in the evening, make homeschooling a chance to learn with your child. You’ll be amazed at how much you really do learn.
Eat a healthy breakfast. The proper foods will help the brain and body work together to benefit the child. A good night’s rest is also essential in the learning process. You want your child to be well rested. Start the day off right!
And remember to keep smiling even when the days get rough! Your children will see how you respond to homeschooling and they will react accordingly!
Jessica Parnell is passionate about homeschooling. A wife, mother and former public high school teacher, Jessica has transferred this passion into her career as Principal of Bridgeway Homeschool Academy. Her passion grows out of a deep desire to see every child reach their God given potential and purpose through faith-based, customized, and flexible homeschooling. With over 25 years of experience helping over 24,000 families to homeschool their way, Jessica is dedicated to helping families understand the freedom that comes with homeschooling and to empowering parents, a child's first teacher, to feel confident in taking control of their child's education. Learn more at Jessica’s blog – www.homeschoolacademy.com
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/PIKSEL