We all know that teaching kids who hate school is incredibly difficult! And, to successfully tackle the problem, try breaking it down into bite-sized pieces:

To start, let's think about some reasons kids may "hate" a subject:

  1. For young students, their brains may literally need a bit more time to develop;
  2. The curriculum may not fit different types of learners—like your child;
  3. The pace may be too fast for a particular student;
  4. The pressure, disappointment, or disapproval coming from Mom or Dad makes it painful for the struggling child.

Now, let's look at how to address each of these four reasons.

For young students, their brains may literally need a bit more time to develop.
You've noticed already that each child seems to have their own timetable for milestones—when they crawl, when they get baby teeth, when they walk, when they begin talking. This unique timetable continues in the first years of academics, too! (One of my children started reading effortlessly at 5 years of age, while another struggled with this until he was 10—at which point he took off reading. . .and never stopped.)

Some young students seem to find learning to read easier while others find learning math facts easier. So, gently nurture a love of reading by reading aloud wonderful, interesting books and a love of math by playing with numbers with games that use counting. [NOTE: If you are concerned about developmental issues, talk with your pediatrician about the range of "normal."]

The curriculum may not fit different types of learners—like your child.

Do you remember in school how some students seemed to thrive with sitting at a desk, reading a textbook, being quiet? But there were others—students who were constantly getting in trouble for fidgeting, talking, moving—who did NOT thrive. Many curriculums require students to quietly read acres of words and try to make sense of it, which will appeal to certain kinds of learners but discourage others. On the other hand,some curriculums provide various kinds of engagement with the material—hands-on, listening, experimenting, reading, creative writing, and more. This allows different types of learners a much better —and more motivating!—opportunity to learn in the ways they are wired!

The pace may be too fast for a particular student.

With the pressure on us as homeschool moms to succeed, it can be hard to give our kids freedom to learn at their own pace. But when you consider the alternative—not really learning the subject, giving up because they believe it's too hard for them to learn—it becomes much more important to S-L-O-W down and let them actually become comfortable with their math facts (or whatever is the subject area.)

The pressure, disappointment, or disapproval coming from Mom or Dad makes it painful for the struggling child. You get this one. You've probably experienced in your own life what it feels like when someone you looked up to was constantly disapproving of you. But, as Mom and Teacher, you have incredible power to change that for YOUR kids—to bless each of your children with encouragement, nurturing, and by being their #1 cheerleader!

Remember, stay relational.

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