Homeschooling and Pressing the Reset Button

Even the most schedule-happy of homeschoolers has a weakness: she is her own boss. At any point in the day she can, like me, throw up their hands and say “fuck it.” What the hell, run wild my goblins!

That flexibility is a boon and a bane all at once. It allows you to make whatever you want of the day, but it also leaves no consequences if the day falls apart. How do you manage it when your goblins are fighting tooth and nail against education?

My trick is the reset button.

No, my kids aren’t little Frankenstein’s monsters, with a secret button on the back of their neck.

What I’m talking about is the end-around distraction. The redirection. Taking a break, then circling back around to the original task with renewed vigor.

I’ve had to use this with Goblin Alpha several times the past few days. When she digs in her heels or freezes up in frustration, instead of giving a punishment and going right back to the activity, kicking and screaming, I build in a little break to allow tempers to calm down. Since there’s always things to do in the garden, we’ve all gone outside and picked vegetables for a few minutes, then returned to our work.

It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s something to think about if you have kids that are hard to keep focused but you don’t want to crush the joy of learning either.


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