Teaching a reluctant learner


Written by Toni Anderson of The Happy Housewife

I have a child who hates school.

This is hard for me to admit because it feels like I failed. I failed my son, my family, and the homeschool community.

The bottom line… ten years ago I tried to force a square peg into a round hole, and it didn’t work. Instead of focusing on what he could do I worried about all the things he couldn’t.

Now I’ve spent the past eight years trying to undo the first two.

Four years ago another son started school, and like his older brother he wasn’t eager to learn. Thankfully I’ve learned a thing or two over the years and took a different approach with this child.

It’s working.

We still have occasional tears, outbursts, and frustration but that can happen with any child. What I don’t have is a child who hates school. I have a child who struggles but is eager to try again every day.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years about teaching a reluctant learner.

Slow Down

My biggest mistake with my older son was that I started too early. Who decided that all kids should start school when they’re five?

I forced my son into homeschool kindergarten before he was ready. He wasn’t physically, emotionally, or mentally ready to officially start school that year. Instead of giving him another year or two I forced this active five year-old into a daily school routine which was the worst thing I could do.

Just because a book, friend, neighbor, or mother-in-law tells you your child should be able to do X, Y, and Z at a certain age doesn’t mean they can.

You know your child better than anyone.

They will learn how to read, write sentences, add and subtract, and tell time. But they don’t have to do it all before they turn six.

Change it Up

Just because you love workbooks doesn’t mean your child loves them too. Your child might not have the ability to sit and listen to read alouds for hours every day. Maybe they don’t have the motor skills to hold a pencil correctly just yet.

The benefit of homeschooling is that you can tailor your child’s education to fit their needs. 

If a curriculum isn’t working for your child it is okay to take a break from it. Try something new or use the same curriculum differently.

Set Small Achievable Goals

Don’t overwhelm your reluctant learner with a laundry list of “to-dos.” Set manageable short term goals and celebrate with your child when they reach them.

Some reluctant learners need a simple incentive to help them meet their goals. For years we had a treasure box in our homeschool. At the end of the week every child who met their weekly assignment goals was able to pick a prize from the box.

The treasure box was a key factor in getting one of my children to learn how to work independently.

Involve Them in the Process

Children like to have control over something, so let them have a say in what they are learning. Let them pick out a few library books, help plan their schedule, or choose a field trip.

Giving them ownership of their education can change attitudes and outcomes.

Get Help

It is possible that your reluctant learner might have a learning disability. Your child can overcome this disability with the right tools, but it is important to know what you are dealing with in order to help them.

Our oldest son was evaluated by a developmental team at the Naval Hospital because I suspected he wasn’t just a “struggling reader.” The team provided me with a comprehensive report and stacks of information on how to help my son overcome his seemingly overwhelming diagnosis.

Depending on location and your access to medical care getting help might be more difficult but there are resources available for homeschoolers.

Don’t Give Up

Many children who are reluctant learners bring a bit of a bad attitude to the school table.

Don’t get discouraged. While it might seem easier to give up and let this child play on the computer all day than fight with them to finish their schoolwork this will hurt you and them long term.

Rather than give up, change it up (see point #2 above).

Don’t Confuse Reluctancy with Disobedience

Reluctancy does not justify disobedience. Even if your child struggles it is important to set guidelines and boundaries for them.

You know your child best and are able to determine whether you are dealing with attitude or learning issues. Honestly, it is usually a little bit of both or one leads to another so it is important your child has clear expectations so they can succeed.

It’s Not About You

I believe that as homeschoolers we tend measure our success by our children’s. A child who reads at age three, writes their first novel at eight, and takes community college classes at thirteen must have an amazing mother who homeschooled them, right?


That child might have an amazing mother, but they are probably pretty motivated too. Your child’s struggles do not mean you’re a failure as a homeschool mom.

It is hard to work to teach a reluctant learner, there will be tears (yours and theirs) and you will wonder if it is worth it.

It is.

My little reluctant learner now has a cheerful attitude when it comes to school. He is first at the table every day and even does extra school work without being asked. He still struggles but he realizes it’s just part of the process and he wants to learn just as badly as I want him to learn.

He will overcome his struggles and succeed. He already has.

What can you change in your homeschool to motivate your reluctant learner?

This post originally published on September 30, 2011.

About Toni

Toni is a military wife and stay at home(schooling) mom to seven amazing kids. In her free time she enjoys writing about cooking, saving money, homeschooling, DIY projects and more on The Happy Housewife.


  1. THIS is a very liberating post! All of your points are right on and I’m thankful for it. I have a couple that fit into the “reluctant learner” category. It’s difficult to not equate that to utter failure.
    Thank you for the encouragement and practical steps to take and things to be mindful of in the every day-ness of home education.
    Kela’s latest post: 31 Days of Communication: Intro

  2. Toni
    So much of your story (part. at the beginning) is my story!
    Erin’s latest post: Homeschool Camp – 11th Year

  3. Thank-you so much for this post – again Simple Homeschool somehow manages to use its psychic powers to answer exactly what I am thinking! We are struggling right now with a reluctant learner, and trying to pick apart how much is reluctance to learn, how much is just general defiance and bad behaviour, and how much might be some other issue.
    I think that my change has been to try and explain to my son that sometimes you just have to learn a bit of the boring stuff before you can go on and use it to do the interesting stuff (a bit like piano practice is the example I use) rather than trying to make everything ‘fun’, and failing at that. It seems to make a difference, at least sometimes.
    Natalia’s latest post: Walking the canal from Sells Green to Devizes

  4. It’s nice to not feel alone:)- I had so wanted to homeschool my daughter, but was scared that I’d fail her. Circumstances allowed me to homeschool last school year as a trial (we were on an extended trip) Feb and March. I had heard things that bothered me from her teachers that I knew were only issues because she was in traditional school. She would turn sideways in her seat, she would look out the window and drift off, she would raise her hand and tell a tangental story. Because of this she was labeled a “good student with issues.” Because of her lack of interest in the traditional learning methods she had fallen behind. Again she was labeled as a pseudo problem student in math. I was appalled at what they were telling me, how they were treating her, and what she wasn’t learning. During my 2 months with her I got her back to the standards the school expected of her. During our trip, we found out that scheduling issues would mean that I would need to take her out of school permanently for the year, and I was so excited. We put in her in long enough to do the paperwork, and then she was mine! I had used those few months to prove to myself that a) I could do it, and b) she would respond.

    Now I make sure we do math standing up and jumping around. She sits sideways when she needs, we take breaks when she’s done, and we’ve found a system where she can do a large amount of small tasks as a project so she’s absorbing more then she knows she is! Hands on, life oriented, and she’s happy, and no more worksheets (well, very few). Taking her out of the school was the best thing I could have done for my reluctant student. She was already being labeled with bad ideas, and with ideas that she would have begun to absorb: not smart enough to keep up, not good enough because she was different.

    My son is 5 he wants to be a part of school so I give him short lessons, just as long as he pays attention. Then we move on to the crafts, and that’s good enough for him. He didn’t hold his pencil well but he so wanted to try, so I gave him line work sheets, lots of praise, no pressure and lots of time, and now he is much better. He wants to read, so we do short bursts of phonics and sight words. But only because he wants to.

    My 7 year old doesn’t read yet, because she hasn’t wanted to. As I want her to love reading, I haven’t pushed. We read together a lot, and I have her read small amounts each day. A page or two of Dr. Seuss and she’s done, but that’s okay, because it’s a page or two more then last year, and she is beginning to be very proud that she is learning and getting better.

    Homeschooling is the best thing I could have done, especially for my daughter. She is NOT a traditional student, and I really believe she would have been crushed under the hand of those that believe she was a “bad” student because she’s different.

    • Patricia says:

      Hello Jenn,

      Thank you for your story, which sounds very similar to mine. I took my daughter out of school in January, also because the traditional way of teaching does not seem to work for her. However, we are struggling and I am trying to cope with an extremely reluctant student…. I’ve started her on ‘time4learning” , which seemed to work well initially, but she detests it now. Her weakest subjects are maths and spelling and shie refuses to do any of it. We are taking it very easy at the moment and I am trying a bit of an unschooling approach now, but am worries about her progress. Especially emotionally is very difficult. If you have any advice or tips, please send them to me! I will be very grateful .

      Thank you,


    • Jen, what curriculum (if any) do you use for math?

  5. That’s a great article!
    I know the struggles of home eduacting a reluctant learner, so I can relate. Thankfully, my girl grew out of her reluctance (well, for the most part – she’s still got “those” days), but until she did, I had to be creative and inventive in order to help her learn.
    I wrote a blog post on what worked for us, back in may 2010:
    Leah Witmond’s latest post: Rosh Hashana 5772

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart here. You make some great points for moms to follow even if they don’t have reluctant learners. Great advice!
    Heidi’s latest post: Homeschool Writing Programs

  7. What a lot of valuable lessons your children are teaching you, Jamie, and what a wise mama you are becoming. What gifts you are sharing with others!

    I hope that your homeschooling year is filled with many blessings.

  8. thank you for writing this blog. it hits home for me. I have been thinking that I need to find a better educator for me son. He is 17, has aspergers, and multiple learning issues. And now a negative attitude to boot! I am stressed so much about this anymore, I just feel like a failure, and before its too late, he should be in a public school where they can better teach.
    Now I read your post here and see the foolishness of that. He would have to be tested, and point out all the what he can’t do areas, plus the whole system of bullying that he has no true idea/ experience with.
    If I stop looking at what other 17 yr olds are accomplishing, and look at what HE is accomplishing, it may turn of his negative behaviours. He keeps feeling sorry for himself, then just stops trying!
    This boy was a 26 weeker preemie, he beat those odds, he had years of hospital stays just to get healthy. WHy do I forget that and stop seeing the great things he has done. He was not to read, he couldn’t remember A is a and that it makes a sound. So public school said send him to a life skills school. Don’t try to get a book education into the being! (there term-like this being didn’t deserve the education and work they would have to do!). Anyway, long story, this child is reading books because he loves to read, I have to take away the flashlight late at night!
    He helps my brother at farmers market to set up and sell, he makes change, without a calculater!
    He holds a conversation with the customers.
    Why do I forget those positives and see what he can’t do. We Momma’s are too hard on ourselves(and them) sometimes.
    So thank you for your article, and keep driving by yellow bus! I will stick to this road!

  9. I am dealing with this in my son. I’ve really had to be creative this year, but I see now there are more things I haven’t considered. Thanks for pointing them out and sharing your experiences, Toni.
    Lynda’s latest post: The quest for character continues…

  10. I have a reluctant learner also, and have found hands on activities work best. We do spelling words in shaving cream on the table, with scrabble tiles or whatever and we’re working on a couple grades lower than the cirr. says to do. My main concern is what if the authority, whoever that may be, could get us in trouble for not staying at the correct grade level. However, I am seeing retention and improvement its just at a slower rate. Thank you so much for this article because I have very much felt like a failure. It is good for homeschool moms to encourage and pray for each other! thank you

    • ((HUGS)) Debbie,

      I have found that my fears are usually so much worse than reality! You can find a summary of your state’s laws on http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/default.asp. You should also be able to google your state’s specific law. The most empowering thing for me, personally, was taking the time to read our state’s actual home school statutes for myself. It took several nights of reading and highlighting, but now I don’t have to freak every time a home schooling parent (or our SCHOOL DISTRICT!) says “I heard that the law requires…”

      It sounds like you are a great mother and doing a great job with your child. Hang in there!

  11. Wow, thanks for this today!!! New to homeschooling, my 19 y.o. college child was schooled publicly and I am trying to homeschool my 5 and 3 year old. Reading is what my goal is. He loves to learn BUT now each day when I say lets do some of this reading he freaks out and doesn’t want to do it. I feel it is laziness—but he also has other sensory issues. I try to take it slow with what I have and we do a variety of learning styles… book, computer and me reading aloud. I struggle with myself alot and try not to get upset. He is a smart kid but seems to not want to dothe work. So the goal box sounds great…. I will begin working in that direction. Plus remember it is only Kindergarten…. lets have fun.

  12. I am writing this response in tears because I had just sat down to email the elementary school my daughter would attend to see if we could set up a meeting to start the enrollment process. I happened to skim my inbox and saw an email update from Simple Homeschool. I am so glad I opened the message! Thank you so much for this post. I cannot tell you how timely it is for me. I have one daughter in 1st grade (this is our 2nd year HSing) and she is a reluctant learner and I more days than not, I feel like a complete and utter failure. I know changes need to be made to our approach, but I wasn’t sure what those changes were or to even how to start making them. Thank you for giving me somewhere to start.
    Kelly G.’s latest post: The Lawn Ranger

  13. I am not homeschool parent, but I think this is true with many parents as far as age goes and entering school. Many kids aren’t ready to start K at 5 years old but I think the pressure of society is that they need to. I’m not sure when this changed either b/c when I went to school most kids started when they were 6 and we didn’t learn to read/write until 1st-2nd grade. Now that’s all changed, and although it can be good at times. I still graduated in the top 2% of my college class and I didn’t learn to read until I was well into 1st grade…so obviously it does not really have any long term disadvantages.
    I commend you for doing all that you are. That’s a huge load to homeschool all your children and it appears you are doing a fantastic job!
    Kristy’s latest post: Healthy Remix: Oven Pot Roast

  14. Wonderful points.
    My animal lovin’ daughter was a relcutant reader. We signed her up for the “PAWS to Read” program at the library where she would go twice a month to read to a wonderful service dog. It worked wonders for her reading and made me realize I need to reach out into the community more to extend our learning.
    Thanks for this post!
    Dawn Suzette’s latest post: Ross Farm and WWII Encampment

  15. A very well-written, inspiring post! Related to changing it up may be involving more multi-sensory learning. You may be a visual learner, but your child may be an auditory learner (learns better by hearing, such as through music or hearing something read aloud) or even a kinesthetic learner (learns well through touch, manipulating objects).

  16. Thank you!! I have three reluctant learners and so many times I find myself in tears, wondering if I have failed them, and should give up. I have learned different tricks, and also that it is okay to admit that I need help!
    One thing I have found that with my son, whom reading tons of sentences puts him in tears to make it shorter. I have to work with him through his Language arts, but I know he will know the concepts and as reading gets easier for him, he will know it. Reading for shorter periods of time, but doing it every day….even if it is just 5-10 minutes, helps them get the practice, but also doesn’t overwhelm someone who struggles along.
    Martha Artyomenko’s latest post: Deadly Ties by Vicki Hinze

  17. Thank you for a wonderful post! I needed to hear the “they don’t need to do it all by age 6,” part. I completely know and full-heartedly believe this but am feeling peer pressure for the first time as everyone else around us starts school and serious academics. My son is (ONLY) 4 and I do not believe serious academics even need to be on our horizon yet but I feel the pressure and keep dabbling with learning that I know he’s not really ready for yet. Thank you!
    Mitri’s latest post: Attention

  18. Thank you for this post. It was great to read.

  19. LOVE this post. I have been at the point, so many times, of being ready to quit. I can’t do this, he’s not learning, he hates school, blah, blah, blah. Then I realize, he IS learning. Maybe not at the same pace as those his age in school, but who cares! We’re alot farther ahead than we were last year, and we’re having fun at the same time. I’m so thankful for this privelege and thanks for your encouragement!!

  20. As a former public school teacher and homeschooling mom, may I say that there are plenty of reluctant learners in public school, and that when homeschooling, you are able to more directly address the challenge with your beloved child. Please don’t feel like a ‘failure’ just because you have run into a bump in the road… Change it up, as Toni says. Try centering your lessons in the various academic subject areas around their personal interests. Also, try lots of hands-on learning. It’s amazing how much learning can take place while cooking together. Let them help plan the menus and tackle some of their favorite foods. For us, it was lasagna. Apply this principle in other areas of life, such as gardening, shopping, etc. Make learning a part of everyday life in as many practical ways as you can. Make it fun! Learning will take place painlessly. Try to motivate your reluctant learners by emphasizing that learning is more about preparing them for an easier and enjoyable life than it is about ‘school.’ Put in as many field trips as possible, and field trips can be trips to the grocery or hardware stores, sewing shops, public parks, fishing trips, visiting interesting neighbors, as well as local hospitals, fire departments, etc. Always be on the lookout for learning opportunities! Your child is a precious gift from God. He knew exactly which child to match with you. “The days are long, but the years are short.” Every day, remember to enjoy this most wonderful gift from God. Your/their story is still unfolding, and the ending will pleasantly surprise you if you hang in there and simply love them! Change your thinking to expand on your ideas of what exactly learning is… It is NOT just ‘public school at home.’ You will be doing something together as you raise them, and it might as well be lots of learning. :o) Our reluctant learner did so well in college that it is almost embarrassing to tell all the awards and honors he won at graduation! Keep praying, and seeking God’s guidance in all you do… He is YOUR teacher! Take it all one day at a time. Best wishes to all homeschooling families.

    • Bettie, as a 31 year retired high school teacher who came back to work with middle school students suspended 1 to 10 days for one year, 4 years at two private schools, and just started my own private school, and with over 5,500 former students, you are right on the money. It isn’t teaching; it is learning. Start with the learner and just try things together. School is what they do in from 8:00 to 3:00 in that building. Learning is what you do every waking hour and many hours when you are sleeping. Learning is what your brain does when you pour in chaos. Learning is your brain trying to “Make Sense” of that chaos.
      I learn every day from my students.

  21. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂 I am going through this struggle with our 5 yr old right now. Your post brought me to tears! 🙂 We in the Philippines are under enormous pressure to put our kids in school early, and even among some homeschool circles, we are expected to start Kinder at 5. 🙂 Thank you for enlightening and inspiring me once again! I will repost your article on my blog if that’s ok. 🙂 Godbless you more and more!

  22. This is a great article and a good reminder for me. Thank you. I began Kindergarten with my 5-year-old son in June, and I have tried to be laid back but at times I surprise myself by being impatient. So I try to give myself a time out and remind myself not to lay on any pressure! When I look at the big picture, I realize he’s doing great. We just completed 70 of the 100 lessons in Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and I think that’s all we’ll do unless he asks for it. It worked well in the beginning, but now he struggles to focus. I think it was becoming monotonous for him. So we’re reading early readers now, and he seems to be excited that he can read them! We tried a sample of Life of Fred for math, and then he asked for more, so I ordered the book. We’ll see how it goes! I want him to have fun learning and to do it at his own pace!
    Shelli’s latest post: Pets Are Good for Children

  23. I *just* pulled my son out of traditional school last week. He definitely is a reluctant learner and has a learning disability. Now this scared momma is venturing into teaching him at home so he can learn at his pace. All the red marks on his page, hours and hours of homework (at age 8 because he couldn’t finish at school) and stress of not being good enough are behind him and he’s a different child in mere days.

    I’m bookmarking your site. I can’t wait to read your helpful tips and supportive words!
    Sabrina’s latest post: Homeschooling . . . wait, what?

  24. This is a great article! Thank you! My daughter hasn’t officially started homeschooling yet – she’s 3. We try to do fun stuff and she’s learning pretty quickly. However, when we try to do anything formal, like writing her name, she fights me on it. I find myself getting impatient because in the back of my mind I hear all of the “well *my* kid wrote their name by 3” nonsense, and I feel like my daughter should too. Then I realize how ridiculous that is, and I relax and we get back to having fun. I can’t wait to start homeschooling – when she’s ready – even though I know it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be so worth it!

  25. All your points are excellent, truly!

    Blocking out the “shoulds” and easing your expectations… I especially appreciated your point about measuring ourselves against our children’s success….or failures. For me dealing with a reluctant or unhappy learner is better for the family if done with love and not fear!

    So timely for me, thanks! Great post!
    Maria’s latest post: Week 5 – Trusting Homeschooling

  26. I really, REALLY needed this post – I am frustrated, discouraged and yet remain determined to homeschool – I love it, but not so good at getting my daughter to love it. She used to LOVE listening to stories, not so much now – did I jump to books that are too much for her? I’ve turned a lot of our math and phonics into games, which she loves, until she learns they’re math and reading oriented. She’s good at performing if only she’d stick with it to do it, but if she’s not active, in imaginary play or the one directing she’s done. This has helped me – I’m backing off, just don’t know how far, how much, and what to do instead. Hands on learning, i.e., science experiments, take a lot of time and resources, so I don’t see those as a frequent option. Did I say I really appreciated this article – inspiring, encouraging and much needed for me and I know for many others. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us – our mistakes really can make us better! wonderful!

  27. One of my favorite posts in a long time. Bravo! I guess it can just feel terribly lonely sometimes when you (wrongly) assume, possibly bolstered by impressions from the blogosphere, that “everyone else” is having days of lovely learning adventures with eager, cooperative children who jump at Mom’s every idea. When you have a kiddo who doesn’t seem to appreciate your “brilliant” ideas and is determined to forge his own path, it takes constant attitude readjustment to keep the joy in homeschooling.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hannah’s latest post: Homeschooling: The Six-Week Exhale

  28. Hi Toni-

    Amazing article! Can I print it and copy it for my homeschool co-op (with credit and a link to your blog)? We have 30 parents. Thanks-Jennifer

  29. Thanks for writing this. I have one eager learner and one reluctant learner. What helps with my reluctant learner is:
    * learning games. He feels way less pressure if we’re simply playing games (although I know we’re learning)
    * throw in some easy stuff, so he feels confident.
    * alternate blocks of learning with blocks of free play.
    * take advantage of his natural inclinations. My son loves to draw, so I try to let him do a lot of his work through drawing.
    Rachel @ 6512 and growing’s latest post: DIY Salad Bowl Meal AKA elbow grease miracles

  30. GREAT post. I have a reluctant learner too and I started WAY too early (UGH! I’m so sad thinking about the pressure I put on him at 3 (yes, 3!) years old just because everyone else had their kids in preschool. He just turned 6 and I’m relaxing now but it’s taking so much time help me re-learn to love school. He LOVES learning but just doesn’t care for school; so I need to adjust! Such great insights; love love love this. THANK YOU!
    Kari Patterson’s latest post: How to Create Your Own Family Mission Statement

  31. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  33. As a first time homeschooling mom, I am a little surprised about this article. I guess I approach life and educating my children through the unschooling, “learning is everywhere!” attitude. Just because your child is reluctant to do required school work, it does not mean he/she is not learning. Children learn when they are engaged in what they are interested in, and when being forced into schoolwork, children will rebel, avoid it, and be reluctant. I really enjoy this blog and my intentions are not to demean the merits of this article, but perhaps as parents we need to have a different perspective of what learning truly is.

  34. These are some great tips! I have found that for my “reluctant learners”, it’s simply a matter of finding out HOW that child learns best. I have a couple of kids that learn best simply by watching educational shows & having discussions about it; another learns best by doing and still another by using the “traditional” method of textbooks & assignments. In my experience, there is no such thing as a “reluctant learner”; they are merely reluctant to the word “school” and all it implies.
    Jennifer’s latest post: How to Start Homeschooling

  35. Hello,
    Glad that I found your blog. My daughter isn’t inspired to do anything with studying… I experimented on some materials I made from home, and even apps that can help her learn.I am hoping to download your ebook on Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom because I am determined to homeschool her. How do I download the free ebook?

  36. Thank you SO much for your post. I really needed this reminder about now, but honestly I could have used it 13 years ago. I never questioned my son when I was a new mom – he would walk when he was ready, talk when he was ready, develop at his own pace. Enter: everyone else and their good intentions. They really meant well, I’m sure, but their constant questions “He isn’t walking yet? He’s almost a year old.” “You mean he isn’t potty trained yet? But he’s almost 3” “He isn’t reading, he just memorized that book” (um, well then he would make one heck of a stage actor then wouldn’t he), etc, etc, etc made me turn around and question my child and question myself. In a toddler “eff you” kind of way, right after I would question my son’s development, 2 weeks or so later he would do what I had questioned and I would feel bad for second guessing him. Fast forward to now and we are homeschooling after years of PS and we are trying to find our way with a child who was broken in public school. I haven’t even considered needing to put him back together first because it scares the crud out of me to have an almost high schooler on my hands and I’m constantly concerned about how much I am screwing this up. Anyway, thank you so much for your open and honest post. 🙂

  37. candy

  38. I agree that a lot of people say that most kids are capable to do x,y,z tasks; it doesn’t mean that you’re kid can also do them as well. Learning is a personal phase and it really depends on the individual on how they can adapt to that learning stage.
    Dana @ Best School in Laguna’s latest post: The Future of The Internet: 5 Web Innovations IT Students Should Be Studying

  39. I have been SEARCHING for this encouragement… THANK YOU. Bring on Monday morning! It’s going to be DIFFERENT! No more fighting.

  40. I did EXACTLY this! I jumped the gun on the oldest child. I brought her – get this – jigsaw puzzles when she was 2. Because someone on Amazon said her child who was 18 months old loved them. Yes, I’m older and slightly wiser now. LOL. She is the one out of the three that doesn’t like sit down work as much even today. We’re getting there, though. Ever so often, I see her eyes sparkle and I think, “Yup! We’re there.”
    Purva Brown’s latest post: The Real Reason School Teachers Don’t Like Homeschoolers (and Why You Shouldn’t Care)

  41. My reluctant learner is almost 10. She repeated first grade after struggling horribly at a very good private school. After second grade, I took her out to homeschool, primarily because she was at the very bottom of her class, and I couldn’t stand for her to fall behind all her friends, again. Every day is a struggle, but we soldier on. I try to “force” her to stay up to the pace on reading, spelling and math, but the rest, we take as she’s able to handle it. She complains that I don’t make school “fun.” This may be the hardest job I’ve ever had!

  42. Stephanie says:

    Hello! I need ideas to help my 7 year old son. He has almost no focus, and I sit with him and remind him for every step, “Now focus; what’s the answer to XYZ?” I feel so frustrated and it takes us wayyyy longer than it should. He’s very bright, and people comment on the bright way he picks up on things, so I feel like it’s my teaching style or curriculum. Can anyone give me advice on good ways to teach without lots of writing? and for kids with a brilliant unfocused brain? LOL

  43. I know this article is several years old, but it is sooo pertinent. (I kept shaking my head in the affirmative and saying “yes” as I read through it!) I hope and pray many moms new to homeschooling will come to understand the importance of knowing their child and not indulge their need to “look good” to others who are skeptical. Obviously, I wish I knew this when I started homeschooling…
    Thank the Lord for the wisdom shared here. 🙂

  44. Donna Pierce says:

    Thank you so much for this. Here it is 2017 and I have been fighting since you wrote this post! Thank you for not removing it! My dh and I were discussing this today. My son is 12. He hates it when it is “time”. If I even mention educational things to him, he squirms. He is a great reader but hates language arts and math. Here we go again!!! His 6yr.old brother loves to “do school”. I do feel like a failure. My dh agrees with you but…. Anyway thank you for picking me up tonight.❤️

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