Tag Archives: teaching children

Homeschooling a Reluctant Learner


Do you have a child who just doesn’t like school? Everything seems like a chore when it comes to learning. They don’t want to do math, reading is a bore, and getting them to sit and concentrate is a near impossible task…. If this is your child, you may have a reluctant learner. Most kids are reluctant in school at some point in their education career, but reluctant learners are different. They really don’t seem to like school. At all.  Here are some tips for homeschooling a reluctant learner.

Debunk the Myth

What is the myth? The myth is that your child doesn’t want to learn. That is not true. All children WANT to learn. Whether it be how to play the new minecraft game, or how to climb the tree they are gazing at out the window. The key is to find out what it is that they WANT to learn.

Slow Down

Don’t push. Really. Who says a child HAS to read at five? If reading is hard, slow down, and pick it up in a few months. Forcing a child to learn something they are not ready for can cause emotional stress on the child, and exasperation for you. Let them work at their own pace. That is the beauty of homeschooling.

Set Goals

What does your child like? Figure that out and set a goal. You can have X for 10 minutes AFTER we finish this page of math. The key is to get them to want to finish their work, in order to move on to the next thing.

You can set bigger goals for the weeks accomplishments. If you finish all your assignments this week, we will have pizza for dinner on Friday. Or something along those lines. Find out what excites them and use it to your advantage.

Get Them Involved

What do they want to learn about? Find out and tailor your lessons around that. Unit studies may be a great approach for the reluctant learner because all the lessons are focused on one topic. I had a friend whose child was fascinated with tornadoes. That is all he wanted to talk about or learn about. So, she did a study on tornadoes, for a MONTH! The science of them, the history of the worst tornadoes, math related to how long they travel, books and spelling lists related to tornadoes, it was a LOT about tornadoes. BUT, he learned, and not reluctantly. Because it was something he was interested in.

Having a reluctant learner can be a challenge, but you can homeschool your child! Find out what interests them, slow down, and get them involved. These tips will help make your days a little smoother.

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.


Feeling Bogged Down? Refuse It!

The school year is whipping by and worries about progress sometimes cloud homeschooling skies at this point. It does not need to be that way. As home educators, we are accountable for our children’s education, but we must never forget, education is not all about the books. We teach children, not lessons. The academics of home education include a step-by-step process that requires discipline and diligence, but much more is learned along the way. Learning to persevere when a subject is hard (or just plain boring!) is a vital character lesson. While our children may argue that they will never use what they are learning (we said it, didn’t we?), we know they will encounter things in their future that will seem pointless too. Completing the task at hand is a valuable skill for life!

We must review our annual plans and evaluate progress toward completion, never let that be the engine of homeschooling. Monitoring progress allows us to see where more work may be needed or a schedule rearranged. It does not need to throw us into a pit of despair and fear. If you have never created a Mission Statement for your home education endeavor, let me encourage you to consider it. Vision is a great encouragement when the struggles and details of the homeschool year begin to drown us. As a family talk about what education means to you, discuss how the time together deepens your family bonds and teaches lessons public education cannot. Establish goals together and use the vision to pull you forward when you begin to feel bogged down. Home education is a lifestyle choice that builds children and families together. Enjoy it!