Homeschool Behavior Problems

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Some people think that when you decide to educate your kids at home, somehow there won’t be any homeschool behavior problems. I would love for that to be the case, but realistically, it’s not true.

Whether kids are in public school, private school, or being homeschooled, they can experience issues like not listening, bickering, and speaking rudely. But what happens when it’s your kid that won’t listen?

Here are some practical tips for tackling that behavior problem and having much smoother homeschool days.

The Truth About Homeschool Behavior Problems

I want to start here because you need to know that behavior problems are not new.

On the contrary, they are pretty standard, but they’re usually not the topic of discussion. Instead, we always see posts and blogs about the pretty side of homeschooling. The side with no problems, the perfect homeschool room, kids happily smiling at their curriculum, and so on. All that aside, I need you to know a few things.

If you are experiencing behavior problems in your homeschool, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, your child, or your homeschooling method. It doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for this. And it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

The truth about homeschool behavior problems is they are indicator lights, just like you see in a vehicle. When the check engine light comes on, what do we do? We have our vehicle’s engine checked. When the gas light comes on, that tells us that we need gas.

The same analogy can be applied to when we see general behavior problems arise. Most likely, that is an indication that something needs to be checked, worked on, and/or changed. Here’s how to do just that.

How to Homeschool When Kids Won't Listen: Homeschool Behaviour Problems text overlay on image of girl with mother

Homeschool Behavior Problems: How to Homeschool When Kids Won’t Listen

In this post, we will tackle the most common homeschool behavior problem: not listening. First, let’s define what that problem really looks like.

In most cases, parents agree that they’d like their children to come when they’re called the first time, do the thing they’re asked to do the first time, and not give any negative feedback (or backtalk) when being instructed. Sound about right?

These are all pretty good goals, but now let’s look at why your kids may not be listening:

  • You could be saying too much.
  • Your child could be focused on something else while you’re talking.
  • Perhaps your child is doing something while you’re trying to talk to them.
  • Do you find yourself ordering or begging?
  • Maybe you are inconsistent.
  • Are you criticizing in your speech?

Notice how most of these reasons point the finger back at you.

Again, I’m not saying there is something wrong with you or your parenting, but we need to look at this from every angle, including from the child’s perspective. With this in mind, consider some (or all) of the suggestions for solutions below.

Get your child’s full attention.

Some parents are able to make instant progress by putting down all distractions and getting on their child’s level. This makes sure you are having eye contact and their full undivided attention. This also teaches them communication skills and manners without much effort.

Once you both are looking at each other, then proceed to speak.

Give your child a chance to be heard.

I think it’s safe to say that many of us grew up in homes where what the parent says goes, and there’s no question about it. And while that may have worked for some, it doesn’t always work for all.

In fact, it’s pretty hindering because the child then sees their thoughts and words as not necessary. When you’re trying to get your kids to listen, ask for their input or feedback.

Consider if something may be too difficult.

One of the top reasons why children don’t listen is because they have been repeatedly asked to do something that’s just too difficult. Therefore, they approach situations with a “Well, whatever” attitude because they can measure up to the task.

Consider if you need to change curriculum, a level or grade, your homeschool routine, or something that they’re learning.

Tackle it from a character training point of view.

Homeschooling is much more than academics. It’s also an opportunity to work on your child’s character development right now. So, it won’t be as much of a struggle when you’re homeschooling a teenager. And so your children can become meaningful members of society when they enter into adulthood.

And those skills need to be taught, learned and walked out now.

Not listening is undoubtedly something that can be seen as a respect issue. There are lots of free lesson plans and resources to help teach these skills.

Keep your cool and be patient.

At the end of the day, our children are trying to learn about life, figure this thing out, and do it with the instruction of us as their parents. Try to see these seasons as learning moments for everyone involved.

Do what you can, when you can and leave the rest for another time. Also, this will help show your kids how to respond and react to situations as well.

Final Thoughts

Having kids who won’t listen isn’t an easy task. It seems like it could go on and on forever. Try some of the suggestions mentioned above and take it one day at a time. Make changes and adjustments where needed, and remain confident in your ability to homeschool your kids.

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