• How Can Parents Transform Behavioral Issues into a Positive Learning Experience for their Homeschool Child?

    Consistency in routines and requirements seems to be key in successful homeschooling

    Child during temper tantrum.

    By Beth Gilmour 

    One of the concerns of parents who decide to homeschool their children, is dealing with behavioral issues during homeschool lessons. Although a common concern, there are many researched solutions to help parents and students overcome these challenges. One of the first concepts to practice when homeschooling your children is to develop your homeschool norms. As indicated on the website hubpages- Tips for homeschooling children with behavioral issues- (http://hubpages.com/family/Tips-for-homeschooling-children-behavioral-issues)

    The following tips are essential for establishing a successful homeschool experience:

    • Preparation up front will save you time. Just like with behavior management, proactive planning will make your life so much easier. Notice when you have the most difficulties - is it at a certain time of day? with certain subjects? around certain people?  Perhaps you can have a secret signal (kids love this) - for both negative and positive behavior - and talk it up - this is like what spies do when they are getting top secret information, so if I see you doing something that I want you to stop, I'll scratch my nose & if I like something you do I'll pull my ear - and let the kids do the same for you!

    • Consistency is key. Simple, but not easy, like any behavioral intervention, the key is consistency. When developing a new behavior, the most effective way to increase this behavior is regular reinforcement for every time a child does the behavior.

    • Develop a schedule. Sounds simple, but is really the core of your program. It's important for a child to know that they have a regular activity at a regular time. 

    • Keep a list of rainy day activities for tough times. Collect interesting articles, web sites and activities for days when you or your child are not in top form. Remember, it's more important that you regularly do something than that you spend a certain amount of time on a certain topic.

    • Make games out of learning. Making words out of number plates can be as valuable as spelling, have kids count the silverware & group them, work out what food are in your lunch group, where do they come from, how are they made etc.

    • Regular reinforcement will increase interest (& make your life easier). Dollar stores are an invaluable source of little prizes, stickers and other motivators.

    • Involve your child in developing a program, make it individualized & personalized, use bright colors and folders for different topics. Learning is an adventure.

    • Access support systems, resources and practice self care, get back up for topics which are not your strength, there are tons of educational activities, videos and software on just about any topic.

    • Know your own strengths and weaknesses (self time outs can be a lifesaver)

    • Don't power struggle - move on, you can always come back to a topic, but it's probably not worth the meltdown.

    As the above tips indicate the beginning steps of setting up common practices and routines will help your child positively adjust to the homeschool experience.

    Please feel free to contact me anytime with additional questions you may have about behavioral issues, Design Learning Academy programs, or any other home school related issues.

    Beth Gilmour
    Cajon Valley Home School

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