I have a confession. I am absolutely not cut out to be a teacher. I’ve never had the desire, the want, or the passion to be a teacher.
Of course, I teach my kids about life, how to be a good person, and valuable skills they would need to use later in life. But when you mix an exhausted mom and a surprise attack home school year it will have its challenging moments. For me, it starts with trying to have patience when your child is not motivated to do school work at home. It is almost like I am pulling teeth to get my child to even become remotely focus and enthused about school.
I get frustrated and what was supposed to be an hour of work, ends up dragging throughout the day. And meltdowns, tantrums, phone calls, and being distracted definitely don’t help. I start wondering about “What if my child acts like this during school?!” Her poor teacher!
By the way — Shout out to all the teachers out there, I have always had a deep profound respect for teachers, but now I admire them even more with all the patience they exude for not only my child but all the kids in the classroom. How do they even manage?!
Recently, my daughter’s teacher had a parent-teacher conference and I felt instantly at ease toward the way my daughter was acting. If your child is acting out and having meltdowns because of school at home and not being motivated…do not think that you are alone, because you are not! I have talked to many parents that are going through the same scenario as me.
But if you think about it, can you blame our children? We need to give them grace.
We cannot expect them to 100% get it together. They went from probably having a very sociable life to being completely distanced from their friends and extended family. The news was becoming more frightening, they are seeing people with masks on, the panic shopping, not going to places they were used to visiting, activities being canceled, and so much more. They are in a social shock as much as we are, and probably even more so.
I don’t have a magical answer for how to get your child motivated and keep them meltdown-free but after much talk with other parents, I have some ideas that could possibly help your situation. We are all going through this strange time together so its all trial and error. Every child is different, and every mom is different as well.
Tips to help keep your child motivated while homeschooling
Try Brain Breaks
If your child has become stumped on a subject and can’t think, try taking a brain break. Dance to a silly song, take a walk, have them play with something soothing like playdough, or paint a picture.
Ask a Teacher for Help
Do not be afraid to ask for help. I was personally having a tough time helping my daughter with her math and it was getting frustrating for both of us. So I emailed her teacher, and she had a tutoring session. It not only made my daughter’s day to have her teacher all to herself for a full 30 minutes, but she was then able to understand how to do her math lessons.
Make your assignments fun using treats like candy (or something else that your child enjoys). If your child is in elementary school using M&Ms can help a boring math sheet be the highlight of the day since they can eat the treats after they are done.
Make a Checklist
Write an easy list of what your child needs to do for the day. Have them check it off as they go. This is such a wonderful idea to keep them focused and on track of what they need to be doing that day. Once the list is all checked off they will have a sense of accomplishment.
Have your child get together with their friends virtually every day after they do their school work to show them what they accomplished at school for the day.
Go to Bed Early
My daughter’s bedtime was slipping through the cracks, and soon enough she was going to bed at 9 pm when she really needed to be tucked in by 7:30. Kids need their rest! I started putting her to bed at her usual bedtime and she seemed to be calmer the next day.
I know it is frustrating when our kids have tantrums and meltdowns and don’t want to listen. But we need to let them express themselves. Everyone is allowed to feel frustrated. If you feel that you and your child need a mental health day…take one. Take the day off to relax and then try again tomorrow.