On days when your kids just aren’t getting it or are overly distracted, try a different approach.

A big mistake I made my first year of homeschooling was to allow my curriculum to drive me. Even on days when it was obvious that my kids weren’t getting it, I pushed them to complete all the assignments for that day.

Some days my kids were ready to pull their hair out – days when they just could not grasp a concept while I stood over them like a drill-sergeant. Those poor kids!

When I finally learned to back off, I became much more effective. When my fifth grader could not quite figure out how to reduce fractions to the lowest common denominator, we would take a break and move on to something else. Sometimes we did not even return to the subject that day. But often I found that waiting until the evening, when the pressure of the day was over, she could sit down and breeze through concepts that were impossible just a few hours earlier.

Occasionally, you may need to abandon an entire course and try a different approach. Do not be too quick to make this decision—as these decisions can be costly. Take time to evaluate whether it is the curriculum or your misuse of it that is causing the struggle. Sometimes a fresh look or just slowing down a little will make a course work better. But when you find that something just does not work, do not be afraid to set it aside or move on to something else.

Similarly, don’t make the mistake of rushing your children through subjects that they are passionate about. Allow time for them to pursue it further and go beyond the curriculum.

Be sure to take advantage of the many ideas in your Bridgeway Academy Instructor’s Guides (included with the Total Care System), especially when you want to take learning further or just need a different way to teach a particular concept.

Next: Listen to your child

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