It seems that every year, about when October rolls around, children realize that school isn’t fun any more. They are back to learning new things, and perhaps school isn’t quite as easy as it was in the earlier weeks of school.
Monkey has hit this patch this year already, and we have had our first bout of tears and “I’m NOT going to do that!”
I don’t know if other moms and teaches go through this, but I assume they do. If you face some of these same issues around this time of year, or any time of year, really, here are a few helpful tips for dealing with the issue:
5 Tips for Refocusing Struggling Students
Take a break
Sometimes a break is the best way to face trouble in school. I know Monkey sometimes becomes overwhelmed and will not listen to anything I have to say, even if it makes school easier. The best way I find to deal with this is by allowing her time to take a step back. Sometimes we do a different subject, sometimes we take a “work” break, and sometimes we take an actual break.
The outdoors is amazing. I find that moods instantly improve if we can go outside. We still live in an apartment, but even stepping out on the porch for a few breaths of fresh air is sometimes enough inspiration to get back to work.
Teach in a new way
Since I work at home, often Monkey doesn’t get as many of the “cool” teaching methods that I would love to do with her every day. On difficult days, we try to mix it up and make school a little more fun. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes our “cool” school is simply looking up a video on YouTube. Sometimes it is doing an activity like cooking.
Try something new
In some cases, there is nothing I can do to make a subject click in Monkey’s mind. When this happens, we just move on to a different subject. We come back to the challenging subject once her mind is refreshed.
Offer an incentive
Sometimes I find the best incentive is to bribe Monkey in some way to get through the school day. Usually, the reward is small, like getting to play on the computer for an extra 30 minutes beyond her bedtime.
I find that these tips are helpful enough to push through on all but the most challenging days. After some hard days, however, we might take an entire day off from school, but that doesn’t happen often.
How do you deal with reluctant learners and rough patches in your homeschool? Share your tips below!