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Although homeschooling is fun and enjoyable for the most part, there are seasons when no one wants to do a thing. As the sole educator, you may fear that you will never figure out how to motivate learning in your homeschool again. Fear not, dear mom, we are going to show you how to easily spark the love of learning in your homeschool in 3 easy, but highly effective ways.
There is no doubt that there will be times when the kids don’t feel like learning, just like there are times when you may not feel like teaching. This is completely normal and understandable. However, you still have the pressure of hitting targets and goals you set out to accomplish. You may wonder how you will ever do that with the poor attitudes that have set in. Here are some ways you can overcome this.
#1- Develop an Inviting Learning Atmosphere to Motivate Learning
Atmosphere is EVERYTHING. If you can curate a learning environment that your kids love they will thrive. Here are a few key aspects and what you can do to create this.
Limit the distractions.
Develop an atmosphere that is conducive for learning. It is pretty hard for the kids to concentrate when they have too many distractions such as noise, music and such. To provide the best possible learning atmosphere, do the following:
- Make sure your homeschool space is well organized and not cluttered. It should also be in a secluded location, preferably in a not-so-busy section of the house.
- Turn off all distractions. Make sure that there is no noise coming from other sections of the house. The TV should be switched off. Other members of the family will have to comply with these rules as well.
Set the tone.
Your kids are going to follow your lead, if you show up full of energy and excited to learn right alongside them they will be thrilled as well. You can control the atmosphere of your home and homeschool. You are mom, You set the tone. Try this:
- Start your day off doing something you love. Pray, read, knit, exercise. Do something that you love, so that you will bring that momentum into the rest of the day.
- Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. You probably aren’t going to wake up excited every day, but what I’ve found is that happiness is a choice. If you choose to put on a happy face, the rest of your body begins to follow suit. Before you know it you really are enjoying yourself.
A little change can make things feel new and exciting.
One thing I’ve found to be really effective is a few simple changes, it doesn’t have to be huge, just a little tweak here and there. Try this:
- If the weather is nice, head outside for a nature walk. If not, head to the living room for a snack picnic while you learn together. Lay down a picnic blanket and enjoy. Or try poetry teatime, bake some cookies, light some candles, drink some tea (or beverage of choice) and read some fun poetry or maybe even your read-aloud for the day. Don’t underestimate the small changes, they can truly motivate learning in your homeschool.
- Sometimes the problem can be that the curriculum isn’t working. But you paid for it, so you are going to finish it, right? Hey, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve forced us to finish it even though we hated it, but what I’ve realized since is that even though we finished it, we didn’t learn ANYTHING from it. The only thing we learned is that we hated school at that time. Listen, it’s ok. We’ve all made mistakes and purchased the wrong shiny curriculum, but don’t make the mistake of sticking it out if it isn’t working. Sell it and move on. There’s nothing wrong with switching it up if your homeschool curriculum is not working.
#2- Lower Unrealistic Expectations
Sometimes we expect too much from our kids, usually derived out of fear that we aren’t doing enough. It may seem crazy, but it happens so often.
This applies undue pressure on our kids to succeed and when it does not happen fast enough, the motivation fizzles off and the joy is sucked out of learning. Set realistic goals and expectations on what can be accomplished in a day, a week, a month, or a year.
Try the following to help lower unrealistic expectations:
- Work around your kids’ interests. Find out what interests them and then develop a schedule around these interests instead of imposing schedules on them.
- Take constant breaks. Breaks will help everyone re-focus. Take as many as your child needs. You do not need to schedule break time. Take breaks when homeschool becomes hard.
- Don’t follow the rigid public school schedule. Keep your schedule flexible and easy. Try a routine instead of a schedule.
- Do not compare your kids with others. Everyone is unique in their own way and they all learn differently. Comparing them will just add to the pressure they already have and this lowers their motivation considerably. Getting to know each of your children’s learning styles with help this tremendously.
#3- Make the Learning Process Interesting
You do not need to be a magician to make the learning process interesting. You just need to be a little creative and go out of your way to make sure they are excited to learn. By making the learning process interesting, you will make the kids anticipate the process and this greatly increases their motivation to learn. There are a number of ways you can achieve this:
- Be creative. For instance, when reading a story from a book, tonal variations to bring out the different characters in the book helps in keeping the attention focused.
- Encourage the kids to teach. Sit back sometimes and let the kids be the teacher. Keep encouraging them.
- Like we talked about earlier take learning out of the house. Go out, get some fresh air or do some impromptu fieldschooling. The kids will appreciate the change of environment and the excitement of setting the books aside to go on an adventure.
- Try homeschool strewing. Strategically place books or activities, that you know your kids may find interesting, around the house. This will likely lead to a sparked interest that can ultimately lead to a deep dive into that topic or activity. It’s a little taste of the unschooling method that may give you the quick win that you are desperately in need of.
As you can see, sparking that love for learning is absolutely obtainable. Just take a deep breath and implement a couple of these strategies. If one doesn’t work for your kids, try another, until you find that perfect tweak that will breathe life back into your homeschool. You got this!
Do you have some awesome ways to motivate learning in your homeschool? Do tell!