Homeschooling moms have the dual challenge of serving as parents AND teachers during the day, which means we often have to deal with a homeschool tantrum or two on occasion. Yay! Not.
When a child throws a temper tantrum, it can disrupt the entire school day. And if you’re homeschooling more than one child, it can distract the other kids from their lessons, make you angry, and throw off your whole schedule for the week. Since we’re homeschooling children with ADHD, it’s essential that we stick to our regular school schedule, so I just cannot afford to have the school day disrupted by a temper tantrum.
Today, I thought I’d share a few of the things that have worked for us in keeping a homeschool tantrum at bay. I’ll also be including a few things that did NOT work, just for comparison. 🙂
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Tips for Dealing with a Homeschool Tantrum
- Find out what’s wrong. Before you even attempt to handle the tantrum, try to learn why your child is upset. Trust me, this can be difficult. Especially if they’re screaming incoherently at the time. Is your child frustrated because he can’t understand a concept? Is she feeling overwhelmed? Ask your child what’s wrong and then try to listen patiently as he explains.
What does NOT work: Shouting at your child to “Be quiet!”
- Establish a regular schedule. Pooh, our oldest boy, is extremely cranky in the mornings. He tends to sleep restlessly and he frequently has night terrors. As a result, he really needs time to wake up at his own pace without being rushed. So, we decided to begin school a bit later in the day to avoid making him concentrate at an early hour. Before I realized that was a problem, he had tantrums almost every day. When we stick with the schedule, though, he rests better and he behaves better.
What does NOT work: Beginning school at a different time each morning
- Keep right on teaching. This one is probably the most important. No matter what you do, continue with your lesson plan to the extent you possibly can. Naturally, if you have a kicking and screaming child in your school room, you may have to stop to remove him or her to a safe place. (I’ve had to do that on occasion.) But, if you drop your lesson plan completely, you’ve just told your child that he or she can make school “stop” by throwing a fit. Once you send that message, you’ll have a hard time teaching every day afterward.
What does NOT work: Stopping your lesson for that day
When I follow these three tips, temper tantrums in our family become minor hiccups instead of major obstacles. How do you handle homeschool tantrums? Do you have any suggestions for how to manage temper tantrums while homeschooling? Let us know in the comments!
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