Getting The Most From Your Child
Motivate Your Child
|To get the most from your child...your child
needs to be motivated to cooperate and do his
We need to consider both our
children's academic and emotional needs
in order to keep them motivated.
The reward is educational progress and an enjoyable, successful school year for
There are a number of factors that affect a
student's motivation. A few are:
- Parent's attitude
- Learning environment
- Child's emotional needs
- Amount of fun throughout the day
- Child's abilities vs. what is expected
- Amount of rest, exercise, and nutritious
- Child's learning style vs. materials and
teaching methods used
Home schooling our children requires time and
patience but it should not be upsetting or a
constant struggle. A lack of motivation is
usually caused by a combination of factors,
often difficult to see when close to the
situation. Sometimes we are unknowingly
standing in our own way of gaining our children's
cooperation. See examples below.
If things aren't going the way you had hoped,
don't waste time waiting to see if the problem
goes away. Take control and get
What we will do in our meeting:
We will sit down together and discuss your situation.
I will listen carefully and take notes, listing the problems as they are identified. As I share my thoughts and ideas with you, we will create a realistic action plan.
It is important that you follow through at
home. If you would like, I am available for
ongoing coaching to keep you on track with your
About how long it takes:
The average appointment for "Motivating Your Children" is two hours, but of course it varies according to each person's individual
What you will leave with:
A printed action plan that includes your goals, the methods to achieve them, the necessary attitude and your expected results.- Follow-up appointment date and time - In most situations, I recommend setting a follow-up appointment
to assess the results of your action plan. This keeps you accountable to your own goals. It is too easy to get wrapped up in life, forget about your new plan, and fall into old patterns.
Just call Home School Rx at 717-612-1516 to schedule an appointment.
Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are
available. Over the phone or at my office, I look forward to meeting
For an idea of what can contribute to a lack of
motivation, read just five of the potential causes
below (taken from my growing Motivation Check
|Because you are teaching at home, you have the freedom to tailor the learning materials and methods to the way your children learn best which is key to their academic success. When most people hear "learning styles," they think of the modalities...auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic. There are other learning preferences to know that can make the difference between a frustrated learner and a confident learner. I can help you understand your child's preferences and see if the materials you are using offer a good balance between accommodating his or her style and building the ability to learn in new ways.
|Many parents find it hard to recognize if their teaching method is the source of a motivation problem. Some see the problem as a character weakness...their child needs to learn that "sometimes we simply need to do things we may not want to do." While I agree with this to a point, we first need to make sure our ideas or methods are not undermining our children's desire for learning. Sometimes the curriculum gets the blame. In my retail store, I have seen parents change curriculum a couple times in a year to try to find the right one, when the real problem was the way they were using it with their child. Changing curriculum too often not only slows down progress, but also cause our children to lose faith in our ability to meet their academic needs.I have found patterns that help identify if your teaching methods need revised. If needed, we can make alterations to the way the material is presented, or to what is expected of your child. This can make the difference between a frustrated student and one who is confidently moving
forward. Read about Jodi
below. Read about
|Home schooling families have much to accomplish each day. Families who accomplish their goals with minimal chaos are those who use a schedule that is suited to their individual family. Children are happier and more cooperative when they know what to expect each day (moms and dads are too).A schedule does not need to restrict you. An effective schedule is a flexible tool, providing daily direction while offering freedom to make changes for the benefit of your
family. Whether you are interested in proactively getting organized or are frantically trying to stop the chaos, I can help you. I will consider your organizational "personality," your family's lifestyle, children's ages and learning styles and physical challenges to available home schooling time when helping you to create a personalized schedule.
Read about Tracy below.
|In some ways, parenting while home schooling is easier because we do not have outside influences undermining our authority and moral teachings; however, it also brings unique challenges. As parent and teacher, we have to be careful we keep a healthy balance. Quite often parents get so wrapped up in doing a good job as a "teacher" that they forget to just be a mom or dad. This is very important. There are proactive methods to keep you from falling into the "teacher trap." These strategies have worked for others and can help you too. Your children's overall happiness should improve, and as a result, their motivation for learning will too.
The Right Attitude
|Do you feel tired, frustrated, or perhaps a bit angry much of the time? Do you have a negative tone to your voice? It is affecting your family. You may not even be sure why you are not feeling right. As a home schooling parent, we have the combined blessing and burden of being the one our children count on the most. I can show you how to proactively keep the loving, positive attitude you desire and your children need in their schooling. Make sure your children's future memories of their childhood, and of home schooling life are as positive as you want them to be!
Price / Value
Read about Jodi:
Jodi is a certified schoolteacher
who was very excited to be teaching her
daughter at home. She was looking forward
to applying her degree by making a
difference with her own child.
She came in to talk because she felt that
she and her daughter weren't
"clicking" with school for some
reason. She was afraid home schooling
wasn't going to work for her.
Through our conversation, I learned that
Jodi's eight year old daughter, Megan
loved to read and "ate up" all
books including books about bugs and
animals, volcanoes, famous people and
places in history, and pretty much
anything within her reading ability. She
liked math and English and enjoyed doing
workbook pages on her own. She really was,
in many ways, the ideal independent
The problem was, Jodi, the creatively
gifted mom, wanted to make a big
presentation of the new things they were
learning, creating bulletin boards and
prepared lessons that crossed over into
other subject areas. She was excited to
teach her daughter.
But independent Megan didn't want the big
production. She wanted to work at her own
pace and read her books.
What to do??
Through our discussion, it was evident
that Jodi had a new goal which was taming
her desire to "teach to" Megan
and replacing that energy with
"learning with" Megan. Instead
of creating bulletin boards
"for" Megan, she could create
bulletin boards "with" Megan.
Instead of planning the great things she
was going to "show and teach"
Megan, she would now ask Megan what she
wanted to learn and how did she want to
learn it. Making lap books also promised
to be a great way for them to work
together, with Jodi being able to use her
creativity while Megan would have a unique
method of demonstrating her learning.
Jodi came in considering giving up
on home schooling...with a small change in
her attitude and teaching method, she and
her daughter were able to love learning
Max is an energetic first
grader who started out the year eager to
learn math. Despite his ambition, during
the day-to-day math lessons, his mother
related that Max would start out fine, but
when it was time to sit down and complete
his practice math worksheet, he promptly
began his ritual: moaning, getting up to
sharpen his pencil, complaining about
NEEDING to go outside to play, going to
the bathroom, more moaning, dying of
thirst, followed by a series of heavy
sighs. (I'm sure you can picture the
Out of frustration, Max's mom was
wondering about different math programs.
Maybe this one wasn't engaging him enough.
Here are some of my comments to Max's
Children develop habits…some are good
some are bad. Some are on purpose and some
just happen because we haven't purposely
created an alternative habit. For example,
Max is now forming the habit of
complaining about, and avoiding his math
Yes, it is possible that the curriculum
may not be engaging him enough. But,
before we jump to that conclusion, let's
try another approach. (We certainly
wouldn't want to jump to another
curriculum right away only to find out
that the same thing happens.) Let's try
creating in Max the habit of sitting down,
giving his full attention to doing his
best at working the problems on his math
worksheet until it is completed. After
all, this is our goal, right?
I propose that you sit down with Max and
tell him what the goal is and the steps
you are going to take to get there.
Something like this:
"Max, learning math is important. I
must teach you math. To do that we need to
have our lesson first, where I help you
learn something new and then you do a
worksheet to practice what you have been
learning. Practice is important to
learning something new. Just like
practicing hitting your baseballs helps
you to get better, practicing your math
helps you to get better and helps get you
ready to learn the next step.
Now, if doing the whole page at one time
is too much for you right now, we will
break it into pieces. Let's try doing 1/2
of the worksheet. After you do 1/2 of the
worksheet, I will give you a reward, but
you must do the worksheet in this way: You
must sit down and concentrate the whole
time on trying your best at all the
problems on the first half of the
worksheet. You may not moan, whine,
complain, get up for a drink or do
anything else to avoid the work. You must
give the worksheet your full attention
until the first half is done. If you do
that, then afterwards I will give you a
reward. Do you understand? We will
work up to being able to do the whole
worksheet at one time. But we will take
our time to get there."
The reward should be something Max finds
worthy of meeting your challenge. It can
be a break to go outside for 10 minutes, a
special snack, 10 minutes of being read to
or whatever you think will motivate Max to
do the work giving it his best effort. For
a first grader with Max's energy level, it
should be something that is immediate.
Earning a sticker on a chart that
contributes to a bigger prize when so many
stickers are earned may be too long-term
for a child like Max.
We heard back from Max's mother who had a
big smile when she said, "Math is
going so much better now! Thank you so
much. We love the math program and neither
one of us is frustrated anymore! He works
until 1/2 page is done and then he either
gets 10 to 15 minutes with his legos or he
goes outside to play for 10 minutes. He
then completes the rest of the page,
followed by another reward. He is getting
done much faster now, I think we will be
able to increase it to 3/4 of a page
is how we helped Tracy:
was a relatively quiet day at Home School
Resource Exchange when we got a call from
Tracy. "Help!" was the desperate
tone of Tracy's voice as she explained her
fear of "not getting enough
done." Tracy had two elementary
children and a toddler. She was frustrated
with the chaos in her home and was too
close to the situation to make a plan.
Tracy was able to come in for a
"Let's Get Organized"
consultation that day. She was able to
"dump" her frustrations out on
the table to be solved one-by-one. We were
able to help Tracy relax in areas where
she was expecting too much and set
realistic academic goals, as well as help
her make some personal changes in how she
accomplished meals and housework so that
she could get more out of each day. This
concrete plan gave her a course of action,
rather than the inaction that comes from
feeling pressured and overwhelmed.