Teaching the Challenging Child

(This article first appeared in The Canadian Homeschool Minute July 5, 2017)  

Have you ever had to deal with that kid who no matter what you do seems to just balk at everything? Have you both ended up in tears because you just can’t seem to connect? You talk and everything you say seems to go in one ear and out the other? When you are trying the tenth curriculum this year trying to find the one thing to spark this kids interest in learning? Well I sure have! In fact I seem to be faced with this problem every couple of years. Just when I think I have found just the right curriculum mix so I can sit back and coast, my little angel will show signs of boredom or start struggling with the material.

I always find the answer eventually. The pathway to the answer is always the same. I have to give it up. Not give up on my child and not give up on homeschooling. Give up my struggling heart to my Father in Heaven. Search the Scriptures and humble my self in prayer. When I lay it in His hands the answer we need will come. Many times the problem turned out to be something entirely different than I had expected. The only consistent thing has been how startlingly different the answer has been each time! And different for each child. For one child the problem was sensory issues with her clothes. She simply couldn’t focus on anything because the seams in her pants and the terry in her socks drove her to distraction. Another time the problem for my son was his energy levels made it necessary for him to move while he composed any essays or creative writing assignments. The answer was to have someone act as scribe for him as he walked around the room. My second daughter needed more time at home. She was overwhelmed with “extracurricular” activities. As I have gone through this process many times now I spend less time struggling on my own and more time praying for guidance for my children and asking God what His will is for each of them and our family.

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