Let’s get back to basics. I confess to being a broken record or I guess, today it would be a corrupted MP3 that played a section of a song over and over again, in an infinite loop!
If your homeschool is creaky, wobbly, or in need of a little fixin’ up….there’s a 99% chance you are defying one of my Ironclad Rules.
So first revisit my – Ironclad Rules for Homeschool Success.
Don’t Waste Time
Don’t Buy Complete Curricula
Seek Out and Heed Veteran Advice
Create a House of Reading Maniacs
You see, and I do occasionally hear of and personally witness unhappy and/or unproductive homeschool families, but the idea of a generalized failure doesn’t make sense to me.
Maybe your family is struggling with math or reading….or struggling to get enough academics done because you fell into the activity trap and are too busy socializing!
Specific problems I certainly understand and can sympathize with myself.
Math struggles require some tweaks, a reassessment of priorities, a tutor, or perhaps just a little more discipline.
A piano player who won’t practice may need a different style of teaching, some more personally appealing songs to play (like the Frozen soundtrack!), or perhaps just a little more discipline.
But, again, I don’t get the overall failure diagnosis, unless….
Unless a homeschooling parent went with the ill-advised, re-create school-at-home approach OR they bought one of those all-inclusive homeschool curricula that I specifically warned against.
Starting out homeschooling can be hard with older kids. I mean it’s harder to pull kids out of school than it is to start from scratch with toddlers.
Not only is there seemingly more pressure for immediate homeschool bliss, but late-starting parents are also up against the damage that school has inflicted on their kids.
What do I mean?
Well, many kids in school have come to hate reading, may have become addicted to video games (like that blasted Minecraft!) and color TV, and may have become detached from seeing their parents as authority figures – simply from all the time spent apart.
More times than I can count I’ve heard parents say, “I could never homeschool my son/daughter….because they won’t LISTEN to me.”
Well, consider that rebellion will only GET WORSE as they teenage.
As far as I’m concerned, the fact that your child might not listen to you is EVEN MORE of a sign that you need to homeschool, to reconnect with them before it’s totally too late. But I digress…
My advice is first to RELAX. And understand that homeschooling is a dynamic process. Our kids are moving targets and we are going to have to watch closely, research continuously, and listen hard to what their pissing, moaning, and rebelling is trying to tell us.
For the last time, most fails I see are due to screens but there are sometimes cases where other failures are to blame. Recently someone called my radio show and said, “I tried homeschooling my daughter for a year….and it was a disaster….she didn’t make any friends.”
But when I pressed for details it was clear that Mom didn’t join any homeschooling groups or generally make any effort to do research of any kind into the undertaking of homeschooling. But really, what should she expect? No endeavor of any kind works without a modicum of commitment and WORK.
Turn off the TV everyone; scrap the iPads and cellphones. Force the kids to read, anything, all day long. It will animate their minds, their imagination, improve their attention spans and give you a lot more behavioral currency to work with – no matter if you choose the wrong curricula or whatever.
And don’t be afraid to contact me through HomeschoolDad.com. I LOVE to help homeschoolers….and I do it every single day.