How Can I Help My Homeschooled Child Stay Focused on Schoolwork?
What can you do when your homeschooled child won't focus on schoolwork? Staying on task is important during school time, regardless of whether a child attends home school or traditional school. In my years of experience as a parent and homeschool teacher, kids always like variety in education. The idea of doing schoolwork all day isn't exactly appealing to many of them when done the traditional way. But there are several things parents and homeschool teachers can do when kids aren't focusing. Here are some homeschool tips and advice for when kids won't focus.
Books are a necessary and amazing source of knowledge for kids, but a well-rounded curriculum will include variety. Utilize books, worksheets, the computer, videos, manipulatives, board games, outdoor activities, outside classes, field trips, experiments, and more to create a varied curriculum. Doing the same thing day after day can create a lack of interest in studying and learning. If a child is disinterested and unfocused, he or she is not going to learn anything, no matter how many times someone tells them.
Take a Break
Sometimes a few minutes of downtime can help an unfocused child regain some interest and composure. Children in homeschool have the advantage of being able to attend school at any time of the day. If your kid just is not cooperating at all, wait until later. Find that perfect moment when your child is interested in something and use that as learning time instead. This flexibility in homeschool can help avoid parent (or teacher) and child frustration.
If the kid without focus has recently transitioned to homeschool from traditional school, respect that. Perhaps your child has moved on to the next level or you've changed the schedule. Because the environment has changed, the child's mind may need some time to adjust. Ease the child into the transition by starting with smaller lessons and increasing study time to the ideal amount as needed. Because you are homeschooling, you can always add extra lessons to catch the child up later, if needed.
Add Some Fun
Does your homeschool day consists of all books and paper? Add some fun to the curriculum. This is not to say that books can't be fun, but they shouldn't be the only source of lessons. This falls in line with adding variety. But it also means you can use games and things the kids enjoy to enhance their interest, as well as their educational experiences. One example of that is in an article I wrote recently entitled “Use Basketball to Enhance Study Time." In that instance, I explained how parents can use the game of basketball to help their kids study and learn.
Get Some Exercise
Fitness has long been a proven method to get that brain working. As mentioned above, certain sports can be used to enhance study skills. Fitness can be used during any time of the day. Start off the day with some brain power yoga, like what I mentioned in the previous article "Using Yoga for Concentration and Focus in the Homeschool Classroom." Anytime anyone is frustrated or unfocused, take a fitness break. Go for a nature walk, head to the park, play a family sport, do some yoga, go for a bike ride - whatever your family enjoys. Remember to rotate between activities to keep it interesting.
Boost that Brain Power with Puzzles and Games
Brain boosting activities are a fun and exciting way to keep kids focused. Did you know that solving puzzles and playing memory skill games can help increase focus skills and even your kid's IQ? Reading is the only activity that causes new brain cells to grow. Combine that with puzzle solving and (such as with crossword puzzles, logic games, and word searches) you not only are increasing study skills and focus, but actually causing new brain cells to grow. Since these puzzles are fun for the kids, why not integrate them into the curriculum. That's part of the homeschool advantage. You have the ability to use innovative learning methods. Use them to boost your child's brain power and ability to focus.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Struggling Learners or Those with Learning Disabilities May Benefit from Home School
Do you have a child struggling or failing in school? Have you tried the options available (extra help at school, tutors, etc) with little to no success? You're not alone. Parents and children struggle with this issue daily. Could home school be the answer for your family's situation? For some families, there will be many benefits of homeschooling a struggling child, either temporarily or permanently.
As a mother to a child who had some math problems that weren't resolved in public school, I chose to take on the responsibility of schooling my own children. Of course there were many other factors involved in our decision, including the fact that the children were also ahead in many areas. Seeing that the plan to school our children through the public education system was failing for us, we chose to school the children at home instead.
It is my hope that sharing lessons learned from our experience can help others decide if homeschooling is right for their child. Oftentimes, as in our case, a child simply needs a bit of one-on-one time to get steered back in the right direction. In a homeschool setting, a child can receive a great deal of student to teacher time.
The teacher may be a parent, relative, or even a private tutor, depending on the laws of the state the homeschooled child resides in, as well as the choice of the family. No matter who the teacher is, there is no question that a student who schools at home has a much better chance of receiving that individual one-on-one attention that will get the struggling child back on track. Children who are having a hard time educationally may also need a new strategy.
In the public school system, a new strategy plan isn't always possible. Some public and private schools offer programs to help children who are failing. However, not all schools will have a special program for children who are behind for their grade level. Even when the school offers program choices, there are still certain guidelines to adhere to. Those guidelines may not be right for every child.
Some children may need an approach that differs from the standards, such as a customized curriculum or a more relaxed setting, which, in many cases is not available in the public education system. In our case, this is exactly the plan we chose to follow. We found that customizing the plan to fit each child individually, rather than as a whole class, helped the child better understand and learn the lessons being taught.
The child in question was recommended to take her grade level over again, due to her poor math skills. However, in just a short time of homeschooling, she improved immensely and was able to complete the level she had failed in public school, as well as catch up to where she should be had she not failed. Now she is actually ahead in math. Ironically, it is now her favorite subject, whereas before, it was her most hated, feared, and dreaded.
Based on our experience with her, I would recommend homeschool as a valid option for parents. Common sense told us that the one-on-one time would be beneficial, but the actual results were much more than we could have hoped for. The results were absolutely amazing for us, as the child in question had always struggled with math, even crying over it many times. We had tried everything; everything except homeschool. If I had it do again, I would have chosen homeschool in the beginning, at the first sign of struggle, rather than waiting until the problem escalated.
If you, yourself are not good at the subject your child is struggling in, yet would like your child's curriculum program catered to him or her, there are still plenty of options that will allow you to homeschool. There are virtual schools (online schools), tutors, community college classes, home-school co-ops, and a whole host of other options. If your child has learning disabilities, don't fret. There are many homeschooling families who actually homeschool because of learning disabilities. I have heard many mention great benefits from doing so. Click Here to see the HSLDA's information on that. The HSLDA is the Home School Legal Defense Association.
If you are interested in doing this for your child, do your research and find out which options are available to you. Homeschooling is currently legal in all 50 US states. However, the laws for each state differ, as far as what is allowed and what rules, if any, should be followed. Texas is one of the most relaxed states, as far as rules and regulations for homeschool. Interested parents should start their research at the HSLDA, as well as look up home-school co-ops, homeschool groups, tutors, curriculum, virtual schools, and more to get an idea of what plan or program will work best for the child.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Last updated on 12/11/2020
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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