Sometime, when we homeschool, we feel the need to reproduce some of the aspects of public school. I, being a former public school teacher, am especially susceptible to such thinking. We become brainwashed, in a way, to social norms. But, if you think about it, isn't the whole reason we homeschool is so that we do not introduce some of society's norms to our children? Whether you homeschool because of religious convictions, disagreements to government intrusion or, whether you just want your child close to home, we all have one thing in common: we are committed to giving our children a different experience than what society has to offer. So, with that being said, if your child is struggling with attention issues during the day and just can't seem to focus or behave long enough to get a lesson on math in without going into full meltdown mode, maybe you should try cracking open the books in the evening, after dinner, instead? Now, I'm not talking about 10pm, although, for high schoolers, that is definitely a viable option. Ladybug is only 7 and definitely benefits from more sleep than not, so she is always in bed by 9pm at the latest. I am not sure if, because I am a night owl, I have more patience in the classroom, and therefore, the patience transfers to Ladybug. Or if it's because Daddy is home and she's more content when the whole family is in the room. Maybe she thinks she's getting away with something because she is staying up past her bedtime. Who knows! But one thing I do know, whatever the reason, it works! Something seems to change in her ability to process new concepts at night. She finds learning to be more fun and is far more engaged in the lessons. She seems to only need to be taught a concept once, versus several times of frustrating repetition. (Which, in turn, makes me frustrated and unable to teach efficiently. And, so begins the heavy sighing and face palming. I'm not proud of it! I am just trying to be real here, folks!).
So, the next time you find your child struggling to learn something new, close the book and go play outside. Put a puzzle together for fun. Take a trip to the zoo! Then, revisit the lesson after Daddy (Or Mommy, I wouldn't want to exclude the home school dads out there!) has gotten home and things feel more settled in your child's environment. You never know, you may stumble upon something that makes homeschooling more enjoyable and efficient for both teacher and student!