How to solve home schooling problems

JamieTurner Apr 5, 2008 School
You’ve started home schooling your children, but things aren’t going exactly as you had planned. The same occurs in public schools, as well. All teachers have bad days; try not to get discouraged. Just take a moment and remember why you wanted to home school in the first place. But if you think that everyday is overly difficult, perhaps it’s time to evaluate your processes in schooling your children. Analyzing your situation is important because the answers can help solve home schooling problems.

 

Things you’ll need

  • patience
  • time out for a break
  • new texts or curriculum
  • open-minded approach to teaching and learning

Procedure Steps

  1. Be sure you know your child's learning style well so that you are teaching the weakest subjects using their strongest style of learning. If a certain subject is causing your home school to seem like prison, maybe your child is weak in this area. It might help to slow the pace in this subject temporarily or permanently, and see if that helps the learning process go more smoothly. Watch and adjust to your child in this subject.
  2. If after slowing the pace, you still feel your child is struggling in the subject; maybe you should try a different book or program. Remember that not every text you purchase will work well for your family…and that it is perfectly okay. Sometimes a different book will approach the subject in a different way which is easier for your child to understand. Don't feel like you have failed if you have to change texts, just realize that you now know a little bit more about how your child learns.
  3. If all of your subjects are going poorly, however, then you need to dig a little deeper. Are you allowing too many interruptions in the school day? If the phone rings during school, do you answer it? Is the TV on during school? Are you trying to get other things done while you are home schooling? It is extremely difficult to do other things while school is in session and have success. Sure, it is hard not to pick up the phone when it rings. But whoever is calling will either leave a message or call back if it’s truly important.
  4. If things aren’t going as you planned, you should also critically evaluate whether or not you are fully prepared for the school day. Do you know what school work is being done this week? If your children are studying a subject in science, have you read a little about it? Now you don’t have to be prepared for every question that comes from their lips. However, you should be prepared for most of the questions. If all you can do is read ahead a chapter in the book your child is reading, then that little bit will help.
  5. When home schooling isn't working, hold family meetings to find out where the problems lie and how to fix them. The solutions to these problems are within the family not within a neighborhood school. Also, give yourself permission to free the children of a curriculum or program if it isn't working. A plan that has everyone stressed out, crying, and fighting is not a good plan at all.  
  6. Take a break! If home schooling isn't working, drop what you are doing and go to the park and play. Breathing in fresh air can lend itself to a fresh perspective on everyone's attitude.
  7. Parents must fill up their pitchers before they can fill up their children's cups. Do something for yourself. Go to the library alone for a change. Try having dinner with your best friend, go see a play, or take a dance class just for you. If you’re running on empty, you have nothing to give your family.
  8. Making alliances with family, friends, and in the community, is a good idea for you and for home schooling, in general. Asking for help may seem difficult but it can provide the spark or idea you need to push through the challenge you’re facing. In addition, helping others with some of your home schooling experience is a win-win situation because that parent will be more likely to pay back the favor when you have a need in the future.

 Tips

  • Try not to be discouraged on the hard days. All time spent with your children is teaching time even if it’s not all textbook time. 
  • Pushing hard when your child is struggling only frustrates you both. Remember that home schooling is more flexible for your child's learning needs than public schooling. Take advantage of this benefit and make adjustments according to his or her learning curve.
  • Consider having a no phone, no TV, and no visitors rule during school time. This will not only increase your child’s concentration, but yours as well. Of course, there are times when emergencies occur and the day has to be a little mixed up. On normal days, however, keep the priority on school.
  • At regular intervals, evaluate the learning process that goes on in your home. You may need to re-do your schedule and cut out bad habits that arise by surprise.  Children change and so do their needs. Let the curriculum and the schedule reflect your child’s unique and individual needs and abilities. 

Warnings

  • Comparing your children to those who are schooled traditionally only creates defeat and poor self-esteem in your child and in you. Home schoolers learn differently; the freedom to learn in their own way is the key to success.  


 

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  • Last Updated : Apr 5, 2008