Ways to Engage Your Children

6 Ways To Engage Your Children In Your Homeschool

The other morning, while working through an All About Reading lesson with my son, we hit a wall. His little ADHD brain maxed out, Pushing even harder, hoping to get one more page completed before calling it quits, I struggled to keep my calm. Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

Have you ever reached this point? A point where you know you need to stop but worry the academics will lay neglected and forgotten in the corner if you don’t push those extra few minutes? Each day seems like an uphill battle and you struggle for ways to engage your children? Perhaps you question whether you are cut out for this whole home learning school thing anyway.

When we hit a situation like the other day, I take a breath, look deeply at my son and quietly ask myself: “What does he need in this moment to re-ground him and help the learning become more relevant and fun.” Here is my short list of go-to ideas for ways to engage your children.

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Ways to engage your child in your homeschool

1. Get Buy-In

When we started our homeschool journey two things were different.
1. I didn’t know and truly understand my son as well as I do now and
2. I didn’t ask for his input—partly because I didn’t think he would have an opinion is this new endeavor, and partly because I felt it was my job to plan and facilitate the learning.

About 6 months into our journey, when I realized my original homeschooling approach was no longer working…for us, I did some hard evaluating, looking at my observation notes, taking my son’s personality into consideration, and thinking through what really mattered most to each of us.

What emerged was my Home Based Learning Road Map which included not only questions and vision planning for myself but also a list of questions for my son to get his input and give him agency and ownership of his own learning.

2. Change Your Environment

Sometimes just moving to a different room or taking the work outside in the backyard or two the park can help. It doesn’t always work for us but sometimes, it really is just that simple.

3. Let them play on the side

With my little ADHD, slower reader, reluctant writer kiddo, sitting at a desk and working through lessons is usually short lived. We have found huge success in letting him sit on the floor with his legos or other building activities while I read to him, talk about new concepts, or facilitate reviews of reading (holding up the review phonograms/words) or math problems. The simple him playing on the said has created, not only huge boosts in his engagement, but also his self confidence!

4. Make lessons into a game

After sitting a few minutes with our All About Reading about reading lesson struggle, I realized what we needed was more play! I quickly layed out his review cards on the floor, jumping up and yelling “The floor is lava! Only the words will save you.” He lit up, sprang to his feel and quickly read the first word, before leaping through the air as he read the next.

5. Work Hard Play Harder

After our fun game lava game, I suggested we finish up our lesson at the park. The remainder of the lesson was reading from his book, always the most challenging for him. When we arrived at the park we took 20 minutes to play. We played imaginary games on the playground followed by a vigorous game of tag. After a short snack break, I ask my son to read to me which he did happily and proudly. Then, he begged for more playtime and I indulged him in another 20 minutes of vigorous play until we were both wiped out. Reading…check. Exercise for us both…check. Fun…CHECK!

When I told him “we just worked hard and played harder” his entire body lit up with delight. I think that will be our new go-to phrase for sparking engagement.

6. Make the Learning relevant

I really like this one as I don’t feel tied to a book, academic lesson or the clock. The learning is far more organic and my son can see the relevance of the lesson to his everyday life. Find ways to incorporate whatever you are learning into your daily activities (such as calculating your end time during a car trip, figuring out fractions while baking, or measuring out an area of your house for a small remodel project) or, engage in pretend play such as playing shop (which incorporates math, reading and writing, if you have your child make signs).


Creating Your Unique Homeschool: How Start Homeschooling
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Our Simple Homeschool Schedule
8 Homeschool Books That Will Make You Rethink Home Education and parenting
7 Types of ADD
Nutrition and ADD
Your Home Based Learning Road Map

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