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  • Writer's pictureYvette Appiah

Slaying the Lazy Beast

Homeschool within itself is a learning experience. Whether you are in your first year of homeschool or a seasoned vet, it is not uncommon to have a child that gets a bit lazy with doing the work. (For my grammarists: yes, I embrace homeschool as a compound word).

Home is a comfortable, friendly environment with many relaxing distractions. While we have all used the saying, curl up and read a book, we can admit for our children, the reality may be curl up and watch YouTube, or curl up and play smartphone games. And somehow, the lines between home and school time get blurred.

So getting your child out of “at home” habits may require some work on your behalf.

Roll up your sleeves and let’s dig into some options.

1. One of the hardest things for any parent to remember is our children learn from what we do, not so much what we say. No matter how much yelling (which adds stress to you and your child), or sit down talks you’ve had, your child is doing what you do.

I used to wonder why my son does not love books they way I do, until I realized, although I have a small library of books in my house, he only sees me on my laptop or on my phone. He doesn’t know I am reading articles and doing research. He sees the computer, he sees the phone. So I had to make an effort to read more books, and show how enjoyable I find them.

Be careful not to lounge around the house too much while expecting your child to something different.

2. Take the overarching concept of a lesson and turn it into a fieldtrip or a fun day. For example, a lesson on writing an essay can be turned into arts n craft fun. If you have a white board or a felt board, you can cut out the shapes of a hamburger. The top bun is the intro paragraph where you can explain the hook, the topic, and other supporting sentences. The lettuce, tomatoes, and meat patty, are the three body paragraphs. You can use ketchup, mayo, mustard as your transition phrases. Finally, the bottom bun is your conclusion which summarizes everything. If your child does a good job, reward her with a burger.

Get out of the house. Go to the library, the museum, the park, the beach, or starbucks to get the school work done.

3. The quickest and most effective way to tackle an issue is to change how you feel about it, change your mind.

How do you define hard work? Does it mean long hours, clearing a desk full of tasks in record time, a hectic, multi-tasking environment, OR does it mean a steady chiseling away at a task or goal until it is accomplished?

What type of learner do you have? What type of teacher are you?

Life experiences have taught me to steadily chisel at goals and surely accomplish each one. I set my goal, outline my action steps, give myself a timeline, and be realistic with myself.

Remember the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

Go ahead and blur the lines. Mix in math with smartphone games, use crossword puzzles for spelling help, find You Tube videos that match your lessons. But make sure the lessons are getting done.

This is the reason I embrace homeschool as a compound word, although it has not been officially listed as such. But home and school can come together to create it’s own unique, learning experience.

The best way to slay the lazy beast is to change how you define and approach hard work.

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