Unique and Different Ways to Engage your Child during the Homeschool Day

Image Credit

Homeschooling is becoming popular, and already, 3% to 4% of children in the country are homeschooled. Since our family began our homeschool journey years ago before it was popular, we have graduated 4 children and can tout the benefits of homeschooling children from the highly gifted, those with short attention span, special needs, and the easily distracted child. Indeed, there are many advantages to teaching your kids at home. It is an opportunity to bond more with them and deliver tailor-made lessons. Sometimes, it doesn’t always work out as planned. One child might be easily distracted, making completing lessons problematic. If you can relate to this situation, below are some useful tips to help you achieve stress-free homeschooling.

Unless you are completely unschooling, you want your child to get some level of school work done, but one of the best ways to engage your child is to ditch the public school mentality for all learning!

This post may contain affiliate links

Find out what type of learning style best suits your child

If your child is a kinesthetic learner, they may move around a lot, never sit still, move while learning, be a doer and not a reader. Engage them with frequent breaks. Provide materials to keep their hands busy – clay, blocks, fidget toys.

If your child is a visual learner, lectures may bore them. They may like to read. Your child may remember by seeing the material presented. They may not remember verbal instructions. Visual learners may do best with flashcards, notebooks to record notes, or watching a video.

An auditory learner may like to talk. They lose concentration easily. May not process the written word but needs to hear a lecture to remember. Reads out loud. Allow your child to engage in a discussion with you. Provide a verbal summary, and ask plenty of questions.

Your child may have one preferred learning style or they may be a combination of two learning styles. Once you determine your child’s learning styles, find curriculum that helps them learn best.

Adopt visual and interactive learning tools

The first thing to remember is that your approach to homeschooling an easily distracted child has to be different. Teaching all your kids using the same method may yield no positive outcome for the child who gets easily distracted. And highly visual and interactive learning tools have been proven to work in such scenarios. The engaging nature of these learning resources helps capture their attention. They keep them engaged and prevent their minds from wandering.

Anything hands-on will keep your child on the topic being delivered. You would have to get creative in your delivery method. For example, if this child is interested in dinosaurs, click here to order figurines that complement lessons on prehistoric reptiles. 

A child focus approach will enable young children and older kids the ability to learn material that many children have a difficult time with.

Vary your teaching style and delivery methods

An easily distracted child will get bored during a monotonous teaching style. In most cases, when you lose their attention, there is little you can do to get it back. This is why alternating your teaching methods may be helpful. The best way to keep them in check is to surprise your child with a new teaching method. The tip here is to catch them off-guard. The surprise element will capture their attention, and it would be best to be intentional about making the most of such moments.

Sometimes, a distracted child’s boredom results from being in the same room for daily lessons. How about changing the location to another part of the house? Others may argue that changing teaching areas would be another source of distraction. While this may be true, you never know how that will work for you and the child in question. Therefore, it may require some trial and error to figure things out.        

Additionally, you may consider changing to an outside location. Remember, the goal is getting your kids to love to learn. You might not complete the lesson you are trying to teach, but getting outside and studying nature, the way the leaves blow, seasons, clouds, sunrise and sunset, and more outdoor lessons can be fostered by going outdoors.

Allow them to take extra breaks

Pediatric behavioral experts say easily distracted kids usually have short attention spans. This makes it advisable to allow them to take more breaks than other homeschooled children who do not have any problem focusing. Taking regular breaks as a restart of some sort and give them enough room to explore whatever catches their attention. When the free period is over it is likely that your child will pay attention to the lesson. Even a short break can do wonders. 

 Incorporate physical activity

A big mistake I see many parents make is that they think that if a child is fidgeting or moving a lot, that means that they aren’t learning. Many kids have difficulty focusing on learning while remembering to sit still. I have a few children who need to be moving to learn. This means a math lesson might look like doing multiplication facts while turning cartwheels or hanging upside down from a chair.

You might think this is counterintuitive, but I assure you that moving while learning is a great way to engage the body and the brain.

Eliminate distractions

When you have multiple children spanning several grade levels, a high school student might have more difficulty learning chemistry if their little siblings are sitting at the kitchen table making a ton of background noise. Sometimes you need to allow older children to go to their room or wear earbuds while listening to classical music or their favorite band.

Set aside a time when everyone can work quietly. If the littlest ones cannot work quietly, they can play in a playroom. You need to be able to find different places for children to work their best.

Make sure you set up an engaging workspace

To keep your kids focused, it’s important that you’re creating a space that’s engaging. This workspace should have everything you need to provide your children with the lessons they need. As mentioned above, you want to eliminate any distractions and ensure everything is efficient.

That also includes your internet, which you may rely on for learning resources. Using Xfinity internet helps with better connection and ensuring your children don’t get frustrated or distracted by a slow-loading screen page.

Use essential oils

Certain essential oils seem to boost brain activity and also to help a child focus. One of my favorite oils for calming an adhd child is Peace and Calming. Another oil that seems to boost brain activity and help to focus is Vetiver. Be careful not to use oils directly on small children and make sure to research before using them around pets.

Take brain breaks

Have you ever heard anyone say, “My brain hurts.” Sometimes when a child’s attention is focused on a hard for them subject, it actually begins to hurt. I say this from experience. While I can do simple computer programming, I have to concentrate so intently that my brain begins to hurt. I need a little break to walk away and clear my head.

Maybe your child isn’t easily distracted, but homeschooling a child with learning disabilities may be the issue. If so, giving them a brain break for a harder subject can help tremendously.

Make sure to offer snacks

Most children I know cannot go a long time without eating something. The time between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner will cause a drop in blood sugar that can cause excitability or extreme drowsiness. Taking a snack break can be the best solution that a homeschool mom can plan into the day.

Check for food allergies, food dyes and preservatives

Many parents with child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder see marked improvement with diet modifications. Furthermore, your child’s diet may need to be modified to eliminate food allergens and/or food dyes and preservatives. These changes may be just what you need to help your child focus.

Reschedule your days

Homeschooling an easily distracted child may mean you have to change how your days look. For many years, we did 4 days of school with a day for field trips or running errands. However, my youngest son who is autistic loves to be out multiple days during the week.

Our days are very different than my days used to be. We now do very short lessons each day, and several days a week we go out. One day we visit the library. Another day might be the bank or grocery store. Another day is a visit to the farmer’s market. The short trips help to prevent overwhelm when we are out of the house and give him a needed break time from lessons.

While this might not work for every family, you can still schedule a walk outdoors or play outside each day.

Only do short lessons

If your child is easily distracted, do not try to do forty-five minutes of math each day. Look at math programs that offer short lessons. Our favorite math curriculum is Teaching Textbooks which is great because of their short lessons. If you want to accomplish more, consider doing a lesson in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

This technique will work effectively when you adopt a one-on-one teaching technique with an easily distracted child.

Your timetable with your easily distracted child will be different from your other children. How does this work? Putting them together and taking frequent breaks might wear out the others who aren’t easily distracted.

This means as the homeschool parent, you need to take control of your day and help your children learn how they learn best. Homeschooling the easily distracted child isn’t easy, but the rewards are great.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top