What To Do If Your Kids Won't Respect You As a Homeschool Teacher
Balancing parenting and working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic is difficult enough, but throwing homeschooling into the mix can bring a whole new set of potential complications. Specifically, if your kids are refusing to take you seriously in a schooling at home capacity, it can make things all the more frustrating.
More: How to Talk to Your Kids About the Upcoming School Year
Luckily if you have been dealing with a disrespectful child, there are ways to work together and create the best possible homeschooling environment that works for you both. Here are a few tips to help parents show their kids that they are serious about homeschooling.
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Reward Hard Work
One aspect of traditional schooling that your child might be missing is being rewarded for completion of tasks in the classroom. This might be causing them to act out, mostly in frustration. Add some after-school rewards, like a pizza night or a movie, into daily lessons! For example, take the time to learn about the culture of Italy or watch a documentary about animals.
Chloë Meyronnet of Curious World, the number one early learning app for parents who want to fuel their child's curiosity, offered up some recommendations: “Rewards for hard work can also be a great motivator. However, these incentives have been shown to be more successful when directly related to the learning. If your child is learning about habitats, for instance, why not finish off the day with a video game that is set in the Arctic? Incorporating media resources in this way offers a welcome change of pace, and allows your child to explore environments they would not otherwise have access to.” (You can start a free trial of Curious World here.)
Set A Schedule
If you have not already implemented a daily schedule for you and your kids, now is a great time to start. Obviously, things will vary based on your specific situation and whether or not you are working from home, or caring for younger children that you are not actively homeschooling. As with a normal school day, set aside time for lunch, recess, and breaks to give your time together more structure.
Brittany McCabe, a child development educator and parent advisor, encourages having your child or children involved in the planning process of the day: “Start with a blank schedule of five time slots (or however many are required in your child's day) with the topics, and let them decide where on the schedule it goes. By having them a part of the planning process, this will help them to feel more in control of their day and their schooling, which will in turn help with accountability. In addition, while having them help their day, allow them to help plan their incentives. What is something that makes them excited? Is it playing video games? Is it chatting on the phone? Whatever it may be, allow them to decide for themselves.”
Ensure Mutual Respect
In the same vein of working together to create a schedule for the day, make sure the respect is mutual at home. It all goes back to the old adage: treat others the way you want to be treated. Reflect on your actions and make sure you are working together, with plenty of communication. “When it comes to parenting and respect, it must be mutual. To get kids to respect their homeschooling plan, maybe plan a family meeting to first discuss what will be expected of your child, a loose schedule, and how they can participate,” says McCabe.
Focus On Their Interests
Aside from the designated assignments which their teachers have likely supplied you with, there’s so much more that goes into making school an enjoyable place for kids, and that’s likely something they’re missing out on!
Meyronnet shared: “Does your child love soccer? Every day, give them an hour to compile information sheets about their favorite players. Have a ballerina on your hands? Challenge them to memorize a new routine this month. Studies show that when a child is interested in a topic, not only will they engage with their learning more, their brain will also be given a memory boost for hours after.”
While all of the extra family time is appreciated and welcome, it can also be difficult for all family members to handle this change, no matter their age. Sometimes it could be as simple as taking a step back and talking with them about where the difficulty stems from in being able to respect you in this new capacity.
Looking for ways to keep the kids busy and learning during social distancing? Sign up for the Prepared Parent, a daily newsletter filled with everything to help mom and dad in their roles as teacher-parents.
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Jacqueline Weiss is a blogger, freelance writer and social media consultant based in Los Angeles. A graduate of Emerson college, she is passionate about wellness, fitness, and beauty.