As the mom of three boys I’m used to a whole lot of energy in my house. There is a certain level of chaos and noise that comes with having kids running around and you tend to get used to it.
The hope is though that when it’s time to sit down and do some school work that they calm down and can chill out and pay attention. However that doesn’t always happen…. sometimes you have a high energy kiddo that just can’t seem to sit quietly.
My oldest was a pretty textbook kiddo, he sat down and did his work pretty quietly and calmly. This was also the kid who could be entertained for hours with a couple of match box cars or a thing of play-doh.
Then came along my second son…. talk about night and day. Where Anthony was super chill and easy to entertain, Nathan bounced from one thing to another. Where Anthony would sit down and do his spelling words Nathan would drop his pencil 150 times, have to pee, wiggle like crazy…
Related Post – Oops I Dropped My Pencil & Other Distractions
I realized quite quickly that my homeschooling of him was going to have a totally different approach! You see these crazy high energy kids present a challenge to homeschool, however with a few key tactics you can be sucessful homeschooling a high energy child without losing your mind!
-Get Them Active!– Before you start school take some time to run off excess energy! Head outside and run around, jump on a trampoline, go for a walk, or get on a treadmill! Even things like jumping jacks can burn off energy before you get started.
I kept a small exercise trampoline in my living room for years before school, during breaks, even during practicing things like multiplication or sight words my crazy kiddo was jumping!
– Take Lots of Breaks– For a long time we worked for 15 minutes then took a 10 minute break. I know that sounds like it would make school work take forever but quite the opposite. See instead of spending a whole lot of time arguing, trying to keep him on task, or dealing with distractions we could focus, get a small amount done, and then let the distractions and energy have their own time!
– Make it Interesting– You will not lose any child, especially a high energy one by making them do boring work! Make sure what they are reading is something they want to read, if you’re struggling with writing try letting them write about something they love, or let them use a crayon, pen or marker. Do a lot of hands on work, manipulatives for math, experiments or models for science, even craft projects for history or Language Arts. Field trips are another great way to engage in learning that is interesting and fun. Since most field trips require walking, talking etc. they are perfect for a high energy child.
Related Post- Printable Field Trip Planner
-Don’t Push if They’re Not Ready– Like I mentioned in this post sometimes when your child isn’t ready for a certain subject it can look a lot like bad behavior. When you have a child who is high energy and easily distracted they frequently become super fidgety. Figure out if the distractedness is just them having excess energy, not paying attention or if it is that they don’t understand and are trying to get away from the challenging work. If that’s the case it’s often better to quit and come back to it later than trying to push through.
– Let them fidget- I know fidget toys are all the rage and can be a major distraction! However there are several things that can be beneficial! I know of a lot of people who use bouncy bands on their child’s chair so their legs can keep going even when they have to be still. Things like stress balls, silly putty or small hand-held fidgets can help while they do things like read or study. Homeschooling a high energy child can be easier when they have an outlet while their learning!
– Do schoolwork at the right time– Is your kiddo super energetic in the morning but chills out in the afternoon? Are they calmer after lunch or maybe late morning? Figure out what time of day they are more likely to sit still and focus and do your schoolwork then. Especially if there is a subject that they struggle with. Aim to teach it when they are most ready to sit and learn.
All in all homeschooling a high energy child is all about flexibility and working with their unique personalities. Remember that part of the beauty of homeschooling is that you are able to cater your child’s learning style, schedule, and energy levels! There is no right or wrong, just working with what you have and doing your best to help your child learn!
What do you do while homeschooling a high energy child? Any tips you’d add?