Even though you’ve done everything right, some days the kids still won’t listen.
Your little wild ones love to be free and have adventures outside all day. They’re not in the mood for school. Sitting still is torture!
Let’s face it. You’re nervous too. You’re not a homeschooling pro yet. It’s like they smell your fear and react by getting even more wild and unfocused. You can feel your tears of frustration rising to the surface.
Homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart.
Nor is motherhood for that matter!
Remember when your babies were born? Those first few weeks home from the hospital they’d cry and you didn’t know what they needed.
You’d set up your own mental checklist. Are they hungry? Do they need a new diaper? Are they gassy? In time you recognize their different cries and learn what each one means. Then you don’t need to run through the checklist anymore. You know why they’re crying, and you know what to do to calm them.
Figuring out what’s happening when your kids are uncooperative during homeschool is the much the same.
Once you figure out why they’re not cooperating, you can act to get them on board and motivated to participate.
Motivation to do well in homeschool is key. You can nurture and build that motivation for your kiddos, mama. Keep on reading and I’ll tell you how.
Misbehaving Homeschool Kiddos Problem-Solving Checklist
First and foremost, you need to set up for homeschool to avoid behavior problems. Then, you build motivation and engagement.
1. Is your homeschool planner organized for the week? Know where you’re taking your kids – education-wise -- and why BEFORE you begin teaching them for the day. This will do loads toward easing your own nervousness.
Advance organization also keeps your pacing smooth during homeschool time with the kids. If you need to take 10 minutes in the middle of a homeschooling session to read lesson and figure out how to administer it, you’re going to lose the kids’ attention. It’s going to take another 10-15 minutes to get them refocused. That’s almost a half hour wasted faffing around.
2. Are you observing your kids and experimenting to learn your family’s homeschool style? Remember, you don’t have to have that all sorted out. It takes time to get there. What’s important is that you’re working on it.
With the above in place, it’s time to build motivation and engagement.
The Cardinal Rule to Motivating Your Kids When Homeschooling
All kids want acceptance and success, no matter their personality. That’s the rule.
If you can give them these two things on a regular basis during homeschool, they’ll be eating out of your hand in no time.
Acceptance is when each of your kids see themselves as a valued member of your homeschooling circle. That means accepting them for the way they are and who they are. If they don’t quite fit the mold of a model student you have in your head, don’t judge them for it. Value their positive contributions.
Both you and the kids need daily success. When you achieve a true success, no matter how small, celebrate it. Your curriculum should provide those opportunities. Then again, doing a lesson correctly isn’t everything. Reward your kids for cooperative behavior and participation also.
3. Set Up Extrinsic Motivators in Your Homeschool
An extrinsic motivator is an external motivation. A prize like a piece of candy or extra play time for completing work is an example of an extrinsic motivator. A sticker or a star on their paper for high quality work might be another type of extrinsic motivator that works for your kids.
Behavioral incentive systems are used by classroom teachers at all ages and grades. A homework pass or extra reading time in the comfy bean bag chair for following directions or staying on task are examples of behavioral incentives that may work well for your kids.
As a parent, you must already have these types of motivators set up in your household. All you need to do is set a few more up during homeschooling time.
4. Your Ultimate Goal Is To Foster Intrinsic Motivation In Your Homeschool
As your kids find acceptance and success during homeschool, you move them toward intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is motivation from within.
That means they focus and do their best because it gives them personal satisfaction. They’re not doing it for a piece of candy or more video game time anymore.
But how do you make education its own reward for your kids? How do you instill that in your kids?
For some kids, that happens naturally. They seem to be born that way. They come out of the womb with a love of learning.
Others, not so much. But it can be done!
If you’re doing everything else I’ve mentioned in this post so far, you’re on your way there.
Extra Tactics You Can Take To Get That Intrinsic Motivation Flowing
Set an example. What do you work hard at for the love of it? Show them your own intrinsic motivations.
Demonstrate relevance. How do the academic subjects you’re teaching your kids connect to their lives? How can you apply school lessons to your kids daily lives?
Hold discussions on subjects where there are no right or wrong answers. All that’s required is that they tell you why. When they contribute, repeat back what they’ve said out loud. That validates their thoughts and gives the kids a big boost of confidence.
What do you do to motivate your kids? Tell me in a comment below.