Headstrong Children? 3 Strategies For Better Homeschooling Success

The choice to homeschool one’s children is often made in an effort to give children a better education, to give them an education that better matches one’s belief system or to work with an unusual schedule. While there are numerous benefits to homeschooling, such as the ability to choose one’s own curriculum and to work at one’s own pace, there are also plenty of possible pitfalls. One of the hardest hurdles that many parents have to jump over is finding out that they simply cannot make their children learn as they would like them to learn.

This could be due to learning disabilities or headstrong behavior. The strong-willed child has many great things going for him, such as the character qualities of perseverance and leadership. However, in the home school classroom, these same qualities can change into stubbornness and a refusal to progress. These three tips can help home school parents get through these difficult years while molding their children’s headstrong ways into character qualities that will serve them well in adulthood.

Give Them the Chance to Make Choices

Much headstrong behavior in the homeschool classroom can be traced back to an autocratic parent/teacher. In public and private schoolrooms, teachers have many children on whom to focus their attention. However, in the homeschool classroom, parents can zero in on each child and notice every little bit of displeasing behavior.

Homeschool parents are often tempted to dictate exactly what is to be done each day and how much time the child has to do it. While this may occasionally be necessary, the child who is allowed to make at least some decisions will feel more in charge and will be more willing to go along with the flow on parent-made decisions in the future. Examples of choices that children could be allowed to make are what order classes can be done in or which core classes should be taken in high school.

Put Someone Else in Charge

In some cases, parents and children may always butt heads no matter how many changes parents make to the homeschool classroom. This could be due to a difficult relationship or even to certain personality differences. What some do not realize about homeschooling is that parents never have to do all of the work.

There are numerous curriculum options available today that provide professional resources for teaching. For example, an online homeschool program can provide a positive educational experience from the comfort of the home. Some other online homeschool programs even do the grading for tests and papers and only require parents to send in the paperwork. With programs such as this, parents can be parents and can let the video teacher do the dirty work.

Avoid the Triggers

Certain children do very well with homeschooling, coming across as malleable and eager to learn on most days. However, on other days, they may balk at something that they had no problem with the day before or may utterly refuse to participate. In these cases, the problem is often caused by a trigger. For many children, this can be hunger. Others may get hyper or angry from too much processed sugar. Some need more time than they are given to run and play outdoors. Taking a break to have a snack, play for 15 minutes or simply decompress quietly with a book can turn around the entire day.

It requires a great deal of wisdom to deal with a headstrong child. Parents must be patient and must refuse to fly off the handle when the child tries to manipulate their feelings. Even though these children do have character qualities that can make it hard to excel in school at times, these characteristics are typically backed by amazing gifts, such as perception, perseverance and loyalty. Parents who look for and praise the good that they do find in their children will provide these children with the encouragement they need to try and improve themselves.

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