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Homeschooling the Uncooperative Child

We’ve all been there: the buckle at the knees, the unappealing pout, maybe the folded arms and determined scowl, all preceding the dreaded “WHY do I have to do this?!?!?!?” Find out how we homeschool the uncooperative child. Make sure you pin this so you can find it after!

How to Homeschool the Uncooperative Child: what do you do when your child is whining every time you pull out the workbooks? This post is a game changer, full of practical tips! Eduction | Whining | Motvating your Child | Schoolwork


Do you have an uncooperative child?

I recently had a mom comment on my FB page about her child who she is battling to do his work each day. She ended with, “I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. I feel like I’m setting him up for failure.” I had to stop what I was doing and pop over to my blog, because I have been there!

If you are this mom, battling your children to do their school and feeling discouraged, you are not alone! There are moments I hate what blogging does to our little homeschool fantasies! We look at these perfect posts on perfect homeschool rooms and perfect “day in the life” and we raise the bar of expectation for what it should look like. Bloggers rarely write about the bad days, the discouraging days, the complete and total FAIL days. But they exist my friend!

Last night I scoped with my two older kids, doing a little live Question and Answer session. I didn’t prep them ahead of time (other than to tell them not to say where we lived, etc.) and when asked what the biggest challenge of homeschooling was, my eldest son answered, “That I have to do it EVERY DAY.” And again, I was hit with the reminder that this is a real thing, existing in any home. Every child has their moments of questioning, of feeling sorry for themselves, of being stubborn or fighting you on something. This is NORMAL. So why don’t we talk about it?

You may have a little angel, but I can bet that you have had your days where it just didn’t work. Where doing school felt like pulling teeth, your teeth, with a rock and skate blade like on the movie “Cast Away.” Are you with me? Maybe in your house it is whining, maybe it is outright defiance and anger, maybe it is tears and frustration, but if you have a child of the human variety… it ain’t all rainbows and unicorns!

Tips to homeschooling the uncooperative child.

I’m going to break it down for you step by step. Ideas and ways to approach homeschooling with the uncooperative child. Once you identify your child’s problem, this will be a walk in the park my friends! Each one is a different approach and you may find some work better than others for you so experiment! I use different strategies for each of my children based on their learning style (don’t know your child’s learning style? Take the quiz HERE!) and based on the day.

Homeschooling the uncooperative child: get them to take ownership

  1. When they begin to become uncooperative, if you can sense they are starting to get overwhelmed, the tears begin to form, the frustration builds, STOP. PLEASE PLEASE stop! You are not doing yourself or them any favors by continuing when they are in this frame of mind. It could just be the day or it could be the subject or curriculum, but take a little break and re-evaluate.
  2. Is your child uncooperative regularly with a certain program or subject? Pay attention to when it happens. Is it a time of day? It could be your curriculum or approach, it could be a subject that really does not interest your child OR it could be time of day. There are a lot of variables, so pay attention, keep a log if it is helpful, and figure out what is “triggering” your child.
  3. Find a different key! If the problem is a certain subject, your job is to find a way that speaks to your child. You may be doing all hands on, thinking you are making it fun and killing yourself to do it like that, but maybe your child is an auditory learner and would do better watching a Netflix documentary or listening to audio tapes! Once you know their learning style, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to tailor their education to what will work for THEM.
  4. Suck it up. This approach may or may not work for your child. There are some times that whether we like it or not, we just have to do something. With all my kids, we have eventually (and by that I mean over and over again) come to the place of “suck it up.” Kids in school have to do school, you have to do school, here or there buddy! If I find it is more attitude rather than a genuine issue with the curriculum, we sit down and have a little “heart to heart” about being a kid.
  5. IF your child’s problem is more an uncooperative attitude and NOT about the curriculum… MIX IT UP MAMAS! Try on of these, or make your own creative solution and share it with us in the comments!
      • start a sticker incentive program (with a little store they can “shop” at at the end of the week.
      • reward them with 5 minutes of screen time for every subject they complete (or whatever number works for you).
      • reward them with time spent with you. We often do the sticker system where the reward is a family fun night or bowling or date night with mom or dad (their choice). It works fantastic!
      • try to get their school done first thing. The longer it lags on, the more they will FEEL like they have been doing school all day (even if it really has only been an hour stretched out).
      • time them! Sometimes adding this simple element makes work more fun. Keep a record of their times, try to get them to beat their time the next day, etc.
      • if you’re working on math or memorization, bounce a ball back and forth as you each state an answer/word. Little games/activities like this completely change the experience, sometimes that’s all you need!
  6. Praise, praise, and more praise. With my one son, words of affirmation are his love language ALL. THE. WAY! If I am impatient and frustrated, he senses that and starts to shut down. He tries harder and harder, gets panicky and then ends in a puddle of tears (he’s 5). Although this comes across as uncooperative, the reality is he needs a different approach. If I start off what I KNOW is a challenging subject for him (ie. reading) with “WOW, You’re doing AMAZING!!!!” it’s like he is a different kid. I don’t focus on what he does wrong. Instead, I quickly help him out and we move on to what he CAN do, at which point I make a BIG BIG deal out of it. He is literally walking on CLOUDS. He can’t wait to do it with me because he feels like a superstar. His confidence blooms in every area of his day and he just blossoms. That’s the best way I can describe it. I need a sticker on his forhead to remember “TELL ME I’M AWESOME” because that is exactly what he needs to hear, every day. If you don’t know your kids’ love languages, grab this book, you won’t regret it!
  7. Are you helping enough? If your child is in grade K-2, they likely need one-on-one help for everything. If you start them off and walk away to help the next child, they may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of doing it alone and just shut down. I know what you are thinking, “But I have other children, everyone needs me!” I hear you! But you may need to find a more unique schedule to fit everyone in in order to make homeschooling more effective for your children. My kids can do their school 3 times faster with me giving them my full attention versus telling them to just do it! And if WE have a hard time staying motivated to complete tasks, how much more so our 5 and 6 year olds!
  8. If your uncooperative child is grade 3 and up, try giving them the reigns (with some guidance). What I mean by this is sit down together with them and come up with a plan of what needs to be done, fill in their lesson plans together and make sure to put in fun activities too (Danny’s birthday party on Saturday, going to their friends house after church on Sunday, etc.). They tend to take more ownership when they have been a part of the process and when they know they will miss out on those activities if they don’t finish what they need to do, watch them get it done twice as fast! 😉
  9. Eliminate the distractions that your child is facing. Are they an auditory learner with little siblings running around and playing around them (or in the next room)? Are they a visual learner but can’t keep their eyes on their work because there is so much else to look at? Are they a kinesthetic learner and have nothing to DO while they work (and are losing their MINDS)? Eliminate the distractions that your child is facing, and remember to think about their learning style. Looking for more details on this? I have a blog post tailored to each learning style with tips and resources to help them stay focused.
  10. Tailor their education to their learning style. Get creative! Check out the hand-picked resources and curriculum options in the list below!
    • For a kinesthetic learner, click HERE
    • For a visual learner, click HERE
    • For an auditory learner, click HERE
  11. Pray about it. If the problem is persisting and nothing you do seems to work, there may be more at play here than meets the eye. Maybe your child is facing some inner battles or struggling with something they can’t really express. Talk with your child but also spend some time praying about it and brainstorming together with your husband what could be behind their uncooperative attitude and what you can creatively do to help them. You know your child the best! Grab a pen and paper and fight to make their education not something they just survive through, but THRIVE through! You are uniquely equipped mama!

Napkin Man Interactive Videos: emotional development in children

Do you have an uncooperative child? What struggles have you faced and what unique solutions have you found?


  1. My kids are pretty excited about school, but I see that a lot of strategies that you recommend are actually part of my teaching style! Woo-hoo! I am sharing it with my friends on Twitter.

  2. Great post Rebecca! We all have those no good, bad days. It’s tough. I believe you are right on point with your suggestions. Lots of praise, letting the older kids study the things that interest them, and knowing when to call it quits for the day!

    • Thanks so much Erin! I have become way more relaxed and low key, which for miss Type A herself is a HUGE accomplishment! 😉 It may have taken nearly 5 years but hey! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Hi! I was the one who posted to your blog. Thank you so much for this. I breathed a big sigh of relief when I read this. (And I laughed at the cast away skate tooth removal comment too lol lol…you hit the nail on the head!). I’m new (very new) to homeschooling and your blog is where I turn for ideas and advice. You are amazing and I honestly don’t know how you do it. I only have 3 kids and I find it hard to get everything done in a day, I can’t imagine having to blog as well. You’re a rockstar. Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my plea for help. xo Jennifer

    • Ah Jen! I didn’t want to call you out or anything, but I had to write about it, I’ve been there too, am still there some days! Hope this is helpful and thank you SO much for reaching out to ask and being such an awesome reader! 🙂

  4. I can completely relate to this. All I can say is, that it will get better.

    My favorite tips are in #5 and #6. It helps to put a positive perspective on getting lessons done.

    You did a great job coming up with practical helps for an uncooperative learner. I’m pinning this to refer back to. You’ve given me some new ideas to try. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much Melanie! I’ve had my share of whining and some really hard days to base these off of. I need to look back and remind myself as well! It’s always good to have some ideas to fall back on when you feel like you’re losing your mind 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! (and for pinning 🙂 )

  5. Aren’t these the fun kids? The ones who try our patience and make us who we are? The ones we want to ship off on the big yellow school bus…. oh wait, maybe that’s just me 🙂

    Great tips Rebecca!!

    • YES! Totally Misty! Fun…. haha. When I sit down and renew my perspective (which for me means writing a post like this to help me process my own daughter) I realize that they can be really fun. They are the ones that force you to think outside the box, to challenge yourself, to do FUN activities with rather than just workbooks. Um, no it is not just you! 😉 First day of school I often feel a few pangs of jealousy.

    • That’s just as important Kristy! I remember helping my little bro with his homework and he would be in tears. Tired, wanting to go to bed, feeling so done. It can be hard to just let go, but the idea (I think) is to enjoy learning, when they are at that point it is just making them hate it! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    • Thanks Teresa! I am honored that you stopped by and read my humble homeschooling blog 🙂 I think these tips are applicable to any situation. Thanks for commenting!

  6. I home schooled a very uncooperative teenage boy thru high school who is now 28 and owns his own business. Every assignment was a battle. First time he picked up a book after he graduated and read it because he wanted to learn something I broke into a flood of exhausted tears of joy. Now he is sooo grateful for his diploma…Hang in there moms. Its worth it

    • Julia, we need more moms like you in the homeschooling community. To remind us it IS possible! To encourage us that it can be done! Just hearing your testimony is so refreshing! Thanks for popping in and commenting on my blog and taking the time to encourage some other mama’s today!

    • I am currently homeschooling my 8th grade son who is very (very is not a strong enough word here) uncooperative. I have been in tears everyday for a week. I am so glad to read that this may possibly turn into a positive one day. Ugh, I,pray I can make it. Thank you for posting this.

    • My wife and I are struggling with a tenth grader battling anxiety and depression. It’s to the point where we, the parents, disagree on what to do next. Each time we get together to talk strategy we turn into arguing with each other, and that does but help the situation. How did you work through your uncooperative teen? What rewards and consequences did you work through?

    • Thank you for sharing this..I am teach 4 unco-operative kids and it is so draining..thank you for sharing the light at the end of the tunnel!

  7. I love these suggstions. One that I use with my son as well (related to the timed activities suggestion) is an “obstacle course”. We have long winters sometimes and this takes place in the house. I will suggest a route (up the stairs, down the stairs, through 3 doorways, etc.) and we time him. When he is antsy and has completed a task, we re-run and re-time. It helps him refocus. I hope this is able to help someone else as well.

    • That is a FANTASTIC idea! I am going to try it next time there is a meltdown, which with five kids, happens a lot around here 😉

      Thanks for sharing and taking the time to comment, it WILL help another mom! That mom may be me of someone else who reads it… it is a great idea! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. Yes, I always have an uncooperative child during the schooling time. What is strange is that they are always in turn. 2 of my sons will be uncooperative in turns. When one of them is uncooperative, the other one is usually very nice, and vise versa. Well, I find a personal approach is always the best way for us. It works well. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Haha, that is VERY true! I usually have one child who is struggling and the other kids are all like “mom, I’M doing my school…” yes, thanks for noticing the disparity of the situation. haha. There’s always a balance right? Thanks for stopping by Adelien!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing. This is my fist year homeschooling my 6 yr old 1st grader and we have had some battles. She seems to get overwhelmed with Reading and so I started giving her a choice of which subject she wanted to complete first in the morning. Today we were out all day and did not get to schooling till 3:30 and it was terrible! Sge took so long to vet her math done. I do need to ask though. How many lessons of reading and writing are recommended for her age? I want to make sure she learns what she’s supposed to. Thanks so much. Ps. Sorry for the long comment.

    • I am fairly new to homeschooling my three kids and can definitely feel unsure about “what should they be learning” but with a few books that I have read and HIGHLY recommend by Sarah Mackenzie, I have realized it’s not so much about what they are learning, as long as they are GROWING. If you and are daughter are reading together, having good conversations, and expanding your knowledge in any area…whether that be nature, history, art, new words,…which most of this comes from simply reading :). You are doing just fine! GROWTH is the key and that happens little by little. I am trying to not get caught up in the specifics of what “they” say my child should be learning. I recommend “Teaching from rest” and “the read aloud family” by Sarah Makenzie!!! All of us homeschooling momma’s just need to take a deep breathe and cherish the time we have with our kids, reading, talking, cuddling and enjoying the world around us.

  10. My favorite from last year. My son is hormonal…pre-teens…joy! Anyway, one day as we were fighting yet again over completing a writing assignment (which by the way was copy work of only 1 single paragraph)…he had complete tantrum then looked at me and calmly (but rudely) said “Now can I go to my room to “cool off”?” I was floored, I wanted to laugh at the entire situation when I realized he was playing me like a fiddle to his whim with his behavior. I just as calmly (but more lovingly) replied “Yes, take your notebook with you, and don’t come out until your writing is done.” That’s right buddy…I’m on to you…no more going to your room to get out of work!

    • Bahaha, that made me laugh! SUPER excited about homeschooling teenagers, can you tell??? 😉 Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! It’s nice to hear a success story from someone in the teenage years!

  11. As the grown version of that difficult child I can say that it gets better! I put my poor mother through heck, refusing to do any and all homework. Eventually my dad took over the homeschooling responsibilities and we did a much more relaxed, free learning approach that worked really well for me. Finding things I was interested in (my horses) and figuring out how to fit pieces of different subjects into that theme. Now that I am 25, 4 years of college, and I have 3 little ones of my own, and homeschooling our oldest, I’m much more interested in learning and find it fun to learn things along side my daughter. We are even going to take up French as a family next year! Don’t feel like you are setting your child up for failure when they are putting the brakes on your plans. Find their interests and create a little plan around that. Make learning fun and interesting! As they grow they will go much more in depth on certain things and interests will change and open up a whole new world of things to learn about. Of course it’s not for everyone, but I am so thankful that my dad chose that style of learning for me!

  12. Great, great advice!

    I read something about how sugar actually gives short term stimulus not just to the body, but the brain. Granted, for some kids it sends them bouncing off the wall, but I’ve found that something small (like m&ms) or something larger but with some healthy stuff mixed in (like a granola bar, or an apple with it’s natural sugar), introduced when I first see signs of frustration helps. I don’t ever do it as an incentive (I don’t say, “do this and you get a treat”–that will backfire, and doesn’t do the work I want it to for his brain, cause…it’s after the learning, not before). In stead I say…oh, looks like your brain needs some energy to help you figure this out. How about a snack, or how about a treat. I have explained that candy gives a quick jolt but then can make you feel drained later. But it does seem to help him. I started this after some Brain expert on NPR was saying that a small sugary snack at the right time can actually help. It seems to have proven true. Helps his mood too.

    • Interesting, definitely snacks of any kind are helpful, I should add that to the list! We often will bring a snack into our school table and find that just munching while we work makes a huge improvement. Apples are a great source of natural sugar as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

  13. Excellent blog you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing
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  14. Great great share! The biggest advantage of writing homeschool curriculum is that you are not restricted by the routine of attendance at classes but you can study at your own convenience.

  15. Yes!! I have four kiddos so it feels like they take turns being the “difficult child.” (I’m pretty sure they decide whose turn it is before they come down in the morning. ) Lately I feel like I have tried everything to get my seven year on board. School early, school later, independence, help, forging forward, sticking with review. We are going on three weeks of school this year and she struggles everyday. I feel like it is more of a heart issue than a school issue. (Asking to fold a load of towels gets the same response as a math lesson. Tears!) Its good to know other mamas struggle with the same issues. Just because we homeschool we are certainly not perfect!

  16. Homeschooling can offer lesson plans and activities for kids that can bring purpose to your needs and preference. Some people offer homeschooling as a way to keep their child busy during the day, some as prep for their child to enter a “regular” school system, for others it can be the very foundation of the beginning of a lifelong educational experience. No matter where you are in this journey, Homeschooling writing curriculum from best price writing courses has a lot to offer.

  17. That he has to do it every day… pretty sure my kids might say the same thing! One thing I have found is that while I want to be teaching every day, the kids learn best and are more cooperative when we don’t always follow the plan. When we abandon the scope and sequence and follow curiosity when the time can be made to do so. It’s not always possible, and not always easy for a type-A, prefers everything to be planned, organized, and completed person like myself. But I am learning right along side them how to be a homeschoolers as well and to embrace the freedom. Part of learning that has allowed us to have more easier days and less uncooperative ones… it’s never perfect, and I don’t expect it to be, but it’s getting better. Thanks for a great post Rebecca!

    • I need help with my child..She has Epilepsy and absence seizures as well as 3 types of sleep apnea…I started last year to home school her and there are many times when her attention isn’t on the work but on anything else…she hasn’t been able to finish her entire school work..I’m concerned, she also writes some words backwards and she went to Beth Ingram for motoring skills and failed twice on a 6 month period each…I am organized as much as I can be but I know her health conditions are many but I want to be able to succeed as a teaching parent and her as a student…The reason she isn’t going to school is by order of her neurologist, when kids get sick she does too and often gets fever which isn’t good for her when having seizures…I feel like a failure at times..shes ten failed the grade twice and shes at a low level 2nd grade…she has developmental delay..Please help me anything you can advice I will take it and treasure it….i know there is a lot medically but at least in can get advice academically…

  18. Great! I’m thinking about starting homeschooling but when I saw this website it was amazing! Now I definitely want to do it. I have a second Grade boy I love so much but he often has fits the thank you so much!

  19. My wife homeschools our four kids (9, 9, 7, and 5). The nine year old girl sometimes convinces her brothers to not do their work, so the entire day becomes a struggle for my wife and she feels like a failure. Even when my daughter is behaving herself, the kids often take all day to do their lessons when they could be done in a few hours, so there’s little time left for them (and us) to play and have fun. These struggles end up poisoning our home life because everyone gets so frustrated. We try to just “muscle through it,” but sometimes it gets so exhausting that I just want to sign them up for public school so our family can have some peace.

    Has anyone else been through this? It seems like every homeschooling family just does it better than we do. Maybe we’re just not meant to do this…

    • No you are not alone. I homeschool my 13, 8 and 6 year old boys. It takes them forever to do their work. They act wild and crazy all day. My 6 year old is adhd. I feel like a failure and like my home is out of control.

    • We set a timer for each subject, and that helps my 7 yo son stay on task knowing he can’t stretch math to be an hour. Only has 20 minutes, so he is willing to work all 20 minutes, because it is a reasonable amount of time. I would suggest trying the timer for a whole semester and see if they are accomplishing more overall.

  20. I have a very difficult child (she is only eight but I feel I have a teen in a house). That is why I’m reading this blog post 🙂 At one point I thought regular school was better for her and sent her to a public and then private school. Of corse, my life was easier because I didn’t have to deal with her all day. But evening comes and we’d have the same struggles- we still had to do school work and have a good relationship . I finally pulled her out . Here we go again. She fights me every day!!! If I hear “yes, mama, I’ll do it” I fall off … oh stop here! I never hear these words!!!
    I don’t complain to my husband , otherwise he’d send her to reg school quickly.
    I found that she loves games more than workbooks (dah!!!) for her so we do a lot of Word Wrap on iPad and educational board games. I still have urges to send her to a board school 🙂 but she is too young ! Just kidding!
    Homeschooling her puts me on my knees EVERY day! Humbles me.
    It’s hard but with God’s grace we can do it!

  21. I know that this is old but i need advice. We have 6 kids. 3 school age and 1 preschooler a toddler and an infant. EVERYDAY is a struggle for all 3 of the bigs… they are falling behind… i know we are failing them but we have prayed and thought and dont feel giving up homeschool is the answer… HELP!!

    • Hi Felicia.It’s wonderful that you and your husband sound like you’re praying and thinking through together … that’s a great start right there! Along with countless amazing moments, we have had countless difficult ones in which I felt very unsuccessful ( some VERY big challenges) but you know what? My oldest finished a year ago, the second one is coming up soon and everyone else is either a teen or close to being one and I am so happy on so many levels with the people they’ve developed into and the family we’ve become. If homeschooling continues to seem like the right path, keep moving forward on it:). With summer coming, it might be the perfect time to just ease into some deschooling ( yes, even from homeschooling!) and chat as a family about what everyone would like to learn, how much can be collaborated as group learning balanced with some special stuff that they each might choose individually.Unit studies and read alouds might work for shared learning? Individual project -based learning that is interest-based for each on their own? For some practical thoughts and ideas for older kids in a large family, have you checked out

  22. This just saved my mind from going off the deep end. God is so good because i was ready to give up and put my boys back in public school. I felt like I was the only one with this issue…and I didnt want to admit maybe my approach was the issue.. Thankyou

  23. My question is with #7. where I think I need to give my kids all of my attention because theyre little still but I have a 2 week old & its near impossible! Did I make a mistake? Should I have put them in kindergarten until the baby got older? This is really hard. :'( I completely did not expect my kids to refuse to do something literally, because they both love learning.

  24. I homeschool my 4yr old and she was doing very well but I noticed she started getting lazy.her writing her name got very sloppy and letters she knows by heart she will all the sudden act like she has no idea what they are. I went back to her pre k workbooks and made her review but now shes acting like that’s to hard to I don’t know if I’m pushing her to hard or just how to break her being lazy any suggestions

  25. I have an 11th grader who has struggled with geometry. Her dad wanted her to finish on lesson 130 out of 170. I decided to let her stop. She is going to take it again, but changing the curriculum. My husband thinks that I am not supporting that he told her to finish because I let her stop. I just couldn’t watch her keep struggling when I know she’s going to retake it again.. Yes, she’s my strong willed child, but whenever you see her with tears in her eyes isn’t time to stop? Am I wrong?

  26. Thank you Rebecca! I have just started homeschooling my 7 yo son in Australia and we had a rough afternoon with him wanting to go back to school and that he doesn’t enjoy homeschooling. I really prayed alot about our decision for homeschooling and felt God led us to it. It’s been 4 weeks since we started and I love seeing him learn however it hasn’t been without our challenges.(He did 1 year and 2/3rds at our local public school first).
    It’s very tiring for me. My daughter who is 5.5 and due to start school next year has complained and interrupted us..instead of joining us or playing…he said today he wants to go back to school and doesn’t like homeschooling and I’m feeling pretty down. I want what’s best for him and dont want him to be miserable…..I say down and prayed and asked God to help and the I googled children that don’t enjoy homeschooling and saw your site and it’s really encouraged me. Thank you for sharing your honest real experience. Please keep us in prayer, I’m feeling like I’m not cut out for this…not patient enough or fun enough…but I know the research is behind it and we made this decision because he was starting to follow boys silly behaviour at school and I felt in order to teach him godly principles to stick by I’d like him at home….but then I’m struggling with making fun and being patient…Please keep us in prayer and again thank you for the encouragement 🙂 Blessings, Melissa

  27. This is my first year homeschooling and boy has it been a battle. My 5 year old was excited to start school until we actually started doing the work. I have tried to make it fun even tried some of the tips from above. None of which helped, he still pitches a fit, yells, and says he hates it. It’s so frustrating especially seeing other kids lube school. I’m at a loss and to be honest I’m tempted to send him to public ‘kindergarten’ school next year.

  28. A routine is very important to avoid fights, and time limits for works for my “do we have to do lessons again!?” I print up an average day routine of subjects for each child (math 20 min, writing 15 min, reading 20 min, socials 30 min, music 20 min, spelling 10 min, etc) As to time limits I strive to do the minimum each day. For example: after my teaching/explanation time, I set the timer on the stove (visual timers are better) for 20 min. I tell them we are working on math for 20 min, than moving on. If the sheer number of questions overwhelms them, I suggest choosing the odd questions, or even, half, or 1/4 of the questions to do each time. Just like a full schedule is daunting, a page full of work is equally daunting. If they can’t complete all the questions, that’s just fine, 20 min is there tomorrow to work on them again. Also, having say in the order of their lessons (math or socials first?), the extra fun stuff, book reports than can choose from, etc makes life easier. So little choice in life leaves a frustrated family any day of the week! Don’t drag the lessons on and on…be consistent and end it everyday around the same time. Let them know, life is not all lessons. Take any opportunity to step away from worksheets and workbooks. Take the learning into projects, hands on, outside, through songs and skits, drama/plays. Creativity is the name of the game which means we need (as educators/parents) to be on our toes and plan, plan, prepare. Leaving it to the last minute means you won’t have the supplies to do a fun project, you won’t be ready with extension activities, and your child will be left with workbook/table work again. Attend conferences, workshops on learning how to teach subjects, expand on subjects, just to broaden your mind. It will spill over into your families.

  29. LOVVVVVE THIS!!!! you are RIGHT ON; very insightful tips and points . Thanks for igniting us with the vision to set up to THRIVE – not just survive! ?? That’s when this homeschool path is purposeful, meaningful, empowering & propelling. And simply awesome ?

  30. Interesting reading through the comments. I came from a religious background but am homeschooling because our secular cultural values are at odds with our local school – and yes, I have been discriminated against by school staff because of my culture and race – as a caucasian conservative libertarian who adheres to an older cultural mentality. That said, before I became a parent, I taught for a few years in public schools.

    I can understand the religious aspect; but I can also see things from the perspective of child welfare. When I taught publicly, I was licensed and endorsed in middle school math, earth science and languages. I was a part of some Individualized Education Program determination meetings and sometimes worked with some special education students. I have seen the good, bad and ugly in the American educational system. There are valid reasons for homeschooling, and valid reasons for sending a kid to a public or private school. It just all depends.

    I used to do the praying and persevering thing – until one day, when it dawned on me that sometimes God speaks through secular common sense and education and child welfare laws. If homeschooling is short-changing your family, your kids’ academics, your mental health or such, please get help. I am well aware that public schools can sometimes be problematic; but sometimes they can be pretty good, too. Please consider your strengths and limitations with regards to homeschooling – and know that it is okay to try one way or the other. At the end of the day, what matters are your children’s well-being and education. Thanks.

    • I don’t think God is speaking to anyone to send their children into a system that by law must teach what contradicts His word. What really matters is that our children come to Christ. If you aren’t going to teach your children, then send them to a Bible-believing school or co-op. Absolutely do not send them into the government schools.

  31. When we first started Homeschooling things were great, her attitude was great all day. Since the last three weeks it has been horrible. Not only is she fighting me on ever lesson, she is being disrespectful, and no amount of ‘discipline’ (we have a behavior chart, time outs, and lose of privilege) is resulting in change. It is starting to eat at me, and my patience and understanding is quickly fading away. She isn’t just sassing and being rude during learning but ALL the time now. Has anyone else been through this? Any suggestions?

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  33. We “started homeschooling” when the pandemic hit. Reality is we have been on the same week of lessons for months. We thought it would be easy since he loved going to school and loved learning. Boy were we wrong. We got the blossom and root cirriculum with Singapore math added. He loves the book reading part but doesnt want to do the lessons that have to do with the books. He loves the art stuff, the videos, and the science stuff. He HATES writing and spelling. He likes math but writes almost all his numbers backwards. We have tried encouragement, writing the same number or letter over and over, rewards and punishments. Nothing works. He refuses to write or practice any kind of spelling. He sasses and talks back. Then I give up for weeks and weeks at a time. I cant stand the arguing and push back. I cannot force him to put pen to paper. I’m at a wits end and about to give up. I feel hes going to stupid because I dont want the fight. Some things just are what they are…to get better at writing…you have to practice writing. Yet he asks why he cant watch a video to learn it instead.

    • Kelly- hang in there…. pandemic homeschooling is a far different thing. You weren’t prepared for this. You didn’t spend years working out your feelings and everyone else’s before deciding to homeschool. I’m a homeschool grad and now a homeschool mom. Shoot me an email, I’d love to help talk you through stuff
      steveandsharonmaus@ Gmail

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