Sometimes behavioural issues are a key reason why parents decide to home school their child, since the child is not doing well at school because of his or her behaviour. Often this has a root cause, such as bullying, or having difficulty learning in the school’s teaching style or environment, which will be eliminated by home schooling and behaviour will naturally improve. But this may take time, and it may be important to consider ways to improve a child’s behaviour within the home school environment. If a child is rude or angry, ask them why they are feeling that way, talk through their emotions but do not tell them off for feeling that way – instead discuss alternative ways to showing those emotions.
One of the most important tools for a home schooling parent is the development of masses of patience – the home schooling environment may become tense at first, you and your child will probably be unused to spending whole weeks together, realise that there will be a period of adjustment and understand that the transition period may be the most difficult of the home schooling experience.
Tips for Improving your Child’s Behaviour Through Home Schooling
Get together with other home schooled children – this will show children that they are not alone in their method of education and be a good opportunity for parents to learn useful tips about motivation, behaviour and learning in a home school environment.
Spend time reading to your home schooled child; this will be a calming activity that is also usually enjoyable for both parent and child as well as a route to learning about other subjects, cultures and people.
Consider keeping a diary of what the home schooling parent and child have achieved every day – this can relieve anxieties about what is being learnt, and also act as a way of recording behaviour so children may be motivated to improve their behaviour as they are recording it themselves. These diaries can also be useful evidence of the occurrence of educational activities if a Local Educational Authority ever asks for such proof.
Set a good example – if you shout at your home schooled child and/or siblings and/or husband or wife, the child will be more likely to behave in a similar manner. Set fair punishments if necessary but equally reward children for good behaviour, and try to avoid going back on promises.
Be aware of what children are watching on television – particularly when ‘channel surfing’, and take care too when children are on the internet, which contains a great deal of unsuitable material as well as interesting and educating sites.
Focus on toys that can be enjoyed outside – such as bikes, butterfly nets, fishing rods, badminton sets, trampolines etc. rather than computer games. Outdoor toys can be used by lots of kids together – a good social activity – and can help children to burn off excess energy which might be improve their behaviour.
Try to find a common interest between home teacher and child so that doing a particular activity together feels like fun rather than schooling, and can trigger a range of other interests as well as potentially improving the relationship between home teacher (usually parent) and child, which will in turn ease the act of educating.