Homeschool motivation is tough for parents, especially when they’re dealing with sullen teenagers. Having to constantly beg your children to complete their daily allotment of work can be wearing and embitter you towards the whole process. But, don’t despair. There are many great ways you can inspire your homeschoolers so they’ll be asking you to give them more work as they love it so much!
Techniques for homeschool motivation
When I was growing up it seemed like my mum shouted at us constantly! “Do your chores!”, “Clean your room!” and so on. When we asked why, her answer was always, “Because I said so!” I ended up thinking in later that I’d wished she’d spanked us more and shouted at us less.
You might think my Mum was some sort of ogre, but you’d be wrong. Mum was a wonderful, loving Christian woman who homeschooled her children. Most of the time she was great, but there were times when she struggled to find ways to motivate us.
So, how can you avoid shouting, begging and pleading with your kids? Below are some of the tips that I’ve discovered which show you how to motivate your kids, even if they don’t ‘feel’ like doing their schoolwork.
Homeschooling is difficult at times and it can be hard to keep yourself cool with pressures from different angles (i.e. the high cost of homeschooling).
However, when you lose it, it doesn’t help your homeschoolers learn. In fact, it can embitter them and frustrate you.
This will make homeschooling feel like a chore.
So, the first step in homeschool motivation is to make sure you’re always cool.
Get homeschoolers talking about their homework instead of you talking about their homework
Saying, ‘Just do it!’ might be effective some of the time, but it doesn’t always work.
Furthermore, demanding obedience all the time doesn’t necessarily lead children to love what they’re doing. Given our main task should be to endear learning to homeschoolers so they develop a love of learning, saying, ‘Just do it!’ won’t get you far down this track.
Instead, ask your homeschoolers, “What benefits do your Dad and I see in you doing homework?”. Then LISTEN to what they say and respond to their question actively. See this video of this in action.
Take a Break from Studies for Homeschool Motivation
While discipline is a great thing, whipping our students with words, won’t bring about the desired outcome of loving learning.
Your children won’t fail a subject if you give them a break. Sometimes it might be worthwhile giving them a break from studies for a whole day or a week. (Indeed, some parents opt for 3 hour days and four day weeks).
I remember crying over mathematics when I was young. I was an extremely motivated student, even with maths. However, I could have done with shorter and fewer math lessons. Crying over math pages left a bitter taste in my mouth which was hard to get over. It was only years later I realized math was not so bad, but I spent many years dreading it!
Consider Switching Subjects for Homeschool Motivation
If your homeschoolers are lacking homeschool motivation, it’s sometimes wise to ask yourself if your homeschooler really needs to do that particular subject. Sometimes they do actually have to do the subject if the subject is core like Maths, English or Bible Study.
Other subjects might not be core like Art, Drama or Dance classes (sorry arts people!).
If your homeschooler is really struggling with a particularly difficult subject, consider giving them a version they find easier. For instance, you could downgrade them from 1 Unit Maths to General Maths.
Join a group study with other homeschoolers for Homeschool Motivation
Homeschool coalitions can be a great way to mix up education at home and find new homeschool motivation with peers who are studying the same thing.
You don’t need to always join a formal homeschooling coalition either. My parents joined forces with a few other families and hired a languages teacher who taught us bits of Latin, Greek and French. She even threw in a bit of Roman and Greek Mythology which became my favourite subject!
Change the Curriculum or Approach for Homeschool Motivation
If your homeschooler isn’t responding well to a curriculum (or a homeschooling approach) because they find it boring or too difficult, think about switching to a different curriculum.
My parents switched us from ACE paces to Light Education because we found the former too easy and therefore our homeschooling motivation was lacking.
Prayer for Homeschool Motivation
I find that when I pray before my day begins, my day is far more effective.
Philippians 4:6-7 has something to say here, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Motivating homeschoolers can be hard, but it helps to remember what our long term goals are and that is, in part, to instil a love of lifelong learning in our kids. If we do this, we don’t need to worry about motivation in the future because we’ll find that kids who had good homeschool motivation when they were young usually had this because they loved learning.
And kids with a love of learning will make great learners in the future, whether they choose entrepreneurial pursuits, college or a trade. Seeking homeschool motivation is such a worthwhile goal and this step will definitely improve your homeschool!