Homeschooling the Strong-willed Child | originally posted February 2013
Throughout the weeks of February and March, I’m reposting some of the most helpful homeschooling articles from the archives here at the blog.
Over a year ago, I tucked an idea for an article into my drafts folder: Homeschooling the Difficult Child.
At the time, I was going through such a struggle homeschooling our Go To Daughter that I didn’t really feel I had anything worth while to say on the subject. I just knew that someday I wanted to write about it.
By the grace of God, my girl and I have come a long way. In fact, I changed the title to Homeschooling the Strong-Willed Child because”difficult child” no longer seemed to fit.
Are strong-willed children difficult?
Undoubtedly they can be. But changing my perspective was half the battle. (You can read about that here.)
Some days (many days!) I feel like I am simply not cut out for this job of being a home educator!
If you are struggling, realize that “pain” is a part of growth; you are growing and becoming what God wants you to be. You don’t have an easy job, dear Mama, but you are equipped!
For further encouragement, I have included helpful articles (either from this blog or other resources) with each of the following ten points. Simply click the links for more reading.
10 ideas to help you navigate the waters of homeschooling a “strong-willed” child.
1. Embrace your child’s personality. A strong will is not necessarily a bad thing; learn to appreciate it!
2. Determine who has a bad attitude… and make sure it isn’t you, Mama!
3. Turn off the distractions. Half-hearted homeschooling will never result in whole-hearted learning or obedience from your child.
4. Don’t be rigid, but do develop a workable schedule or routine for your homeschooling days and weeks. A strong-willed child will perceive a hit-and-miss homeschooling style as a prime opportunity to push boundaries.
5. Consistency is a very vital part of homeschooling any child. If you are prone to inconsistency (like I am), focus on developing this trait in your life on a daily basis.
6. Don’t just focus on discipline and reproof (when your child does wrong); train and shape your child by encouragement, discipleship, and building a loving relationship.
7. Embrace creativity and flexibility. Homeschooling is not just about academics. Don’t forget to give your child room to grow, explore, and make messes. 🙂 Lower your expectations, if need be, and give yourself a horizon higher than merely completing a school book by the end of the year.
8. What is your child’s learning style? How can you enhance your child’s homeschooling experience by honing in on his or her strengths? My Go To girl balked at school work this year until I tweaked her lessons to better suite her learning style… that in itself eliminated most of our daily struggle.
9. What is your child’s love language? Are you keeping his or her “love tank” full by meaningful expressions of love and acceptance?
10. Is your child fussy and unhappy? Are you fussy and unhappy? Make joy “normal” in your home.
If something you read here encourages you, please feel free to share with others moms via social media and I’m always delighted when friends subscribe via email!
I’d love to connect with you over at our private homeschooling moms group on Facebook, too.
What would you add to this list?
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.