Teaching Writing to the Uncooperative Homeschooler

Guest post from Time4Writing.com

Tell me if either of these scenarios seems familiar. It’s only an hour into your homeschool day. No sooner do you pull out your lesson plans for paragraph writing and your student’s notebook than your normally happy, eager child turns grumpy; uncooperative even? Or, you have set a summer goal for your student to do journaling for 15 minutes a day and the response to your daily reminder makes you want to forget the idea. The power struggle begins.

In this situation, a parent often feels helpless. After all, you can’t “make” a child learn; can you? You may rationalize that it must somehow be your fault. If you were a better homeschool teacher, a better parent, a better (fill in the blank), your child would surely come around and be eager to learn how to write paragraphs (or sentences, or essays).

What’s Really Going on with Your Uncooperative Student

Instead of waving the white flag, it helps to take a step back and look at what might really be triggering your student’s unwillingness to participate in his or her writing lessons. What looks like obstinance from your angle might actually be any of the following:

  • being instructed in a teaching style that doesn’t match his or her learning style
  • being asked to sit still and learn when his or her brain is actually powered by movement
  • his or her attention span may be shorter than you expect, meaning that writing tasks and focused time should be broken up into small segments
  • although you write better in the morning, your child’s rhythms are more suited to writing in the afternoons or evenings
  • needing more choice in their day such as where writing instruction takes place

Those are just a sampling of some of the many, many reasons a student might be resistant. By evaluating the possible reasons behind your child’s behavior, you may stumble across an amazingly simple solution to your power struggles.

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