Guest Post from Homeschooling Coach Afsaneh Moradian M. Ed.
As homeschooling parents, we plan awesome activities for our kids so they can learn in more meaningful and developmentally appropriate ways than they could at school.
We gather and set up the materials, excited to watch our homeschoolers have an amazing experience. All we want as homeschooling parents is to see our children thrive.
However, there’s always a moment when our homeschooler refuses to do the activity or assignment.
They resist in some many different ways:
- Putting their head down on the desk or table
- Repeatedly dropping the pencil
- Saying they are tired or hungry
- Having an urgent task that absolutely must be done
- Crumpling paper
- Knocking over the materials
- Shutting down
- Storming off
- Slamming doors
There is nothing fun or wonderful about dealing with a homeschooler who is resisting learning.
Many parents respond by praising their child, telling them how capable they are and that they should just try. Sometimes that works, often it doesn’t.
Then parents move on to a reward such as offering extra screen time or something else they love once the assignment is completed.
When that doesn’t work, it tends to take a dark turn. Thinking back to their own school days, parents remember that when the sticker and good grade didn’t work to motivate classmates, threats of failure and punishment were waiting in the shadows.
Homeschooling parents will use the same approach. When the reward isn’t enough to motivate, parents will threaten to take away something the child loves if the assignment isn’t completed. Sometimes, the child will get the work done through tears. Other times, homeschoolers will explode. Feeling backed into a corner, kids will become angry and desperate. There is almost always a power struggle, and both parent and homeschooler feel bad.
As someone who coaches homeschooling parents, I know how common this dynamic is, especially for neurodiverse and high needs families. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
First, parents need to understand what the homeschooler’s resistance is NOT:
- It is NOT a challenge to your authority
- Your child is NOT telling you you are a bad teacher
- Your child is NOT being lazy
- Your child is NOT apathetic
I know it seems like your child doesn’t care about their education and that causes enormous stress, anxiety, and worry for homeschooling parents.
However, as an educator for over two decades, a homeschooling coach, and homeschooling parent to my own high needs child, I can tell you that your homeschooler is resisting doing the activity or assignment for a very good, valid reason.
Knowing why your homeschooler is resisting is key to you feeling empowered to support your child in overcoming their resistance.
Afsaneh Moradian is the founder of MLC Homeschool Coaching and the author of the Jamie is Jamie series and Homeschooling Outside the Box.
As a children’s author with over 20 years of experience as an educator, Afsaneh has worked with hundreds of learners from preschool to graduate school, including students that are wired differently. Using her vast experience with reluctant learners, she has developed a proven framework to support parents in creating the right homeschooling experience for their unique child.
As a homeschooling mom herself, Afsaneh understands the pressure that goes with becoming a teacher, cheerleader, and principal on the home front. The struggle is real…but it doesn’t have to be that way.
“I want homeschooling parents to feel empowered to create a homeschooling experience filled with connection and a joy of learning for everyone.”~ Afsaneh Moradian M. Ed.
Her Anti-Resistance Homeschooling Roadmap is now available to support homeschooling parents of neurodiverse and high needs children.