Top 10 Ways Homeschoolers Can Cure Classroom Boredom
Classroom boredom can strike at any time.
For homeschoolers, boredom can impact parent teachers, as well as students.
When there is a feeling of boredom or disconnectedness, the ability to teach or learn is greatly diminished.
Therefore, the first step is to recognize that you or your students are not engaged with your current lessons. Once you recognize and accept that a particular lesson is not proceeding in an optimal way, you need to stop and identify why, so you can address the situation and get back to learning.
What causes boredom?
So, what can cause boredom in a homeschool classroom?
For students, it can be the pace of the lesson or the way in which the lesson is being taught.
If your child has mastered a particular subject area, going too slow can make them disengaged and uninterested until the pace accelerates.
Likewise, if the subject matter is too advanced, a student can find themselves overwhelmed. When children get lost or confused, a sense of hopelessness and fatigue can set in. They stop trying to understand the material and may resort to day-dreaming, or they may simply go through the motions.
In both cases, it could take time before you even realize there is a problem. This results in wasted time, and could needlessly prolong lessons.
Another factor may be that the technique being used for teaching has become too repetitive. This is something that can impact parent teachers as well as students. There may be a particular subject that is taught consistently the same way. After a while, the learning process slows down or gets disrupted altogether when the student, teacher, or both start to feel dulled by the approach.
Lastly, simple things like lecturing too long, staying idle, and over-complicating simple tasks, could all contribute to increasing classroom boredom.
How homeschoolers can cure boredom
At Calvert, we have been leaders in homeschooling for over 100 years. Though some things have changed, the need to fight off classroom boredom is something that happens to every homeschooling family from time to time throughout the course of the school year.
Here are some of the best ways you can cure classroom boredom, and make learning fun and engaging:
- Take a break from learning. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do when you are bored or facing some level of burnout or dullness is to just take a break. And with homeschooling, you have that flexibility. Let your student go run, play, stretch or do some jumping jacks. Forcing your student to keep going when information is not being learned is counterproductive, and a waste of time.
- Add an activity to the lesson. Activities can often teach material in different ways, and bring new energy and interest to a subject. Games are helpful, but an activity can include making a video, creating a piece of art, or speaking with a different person.
- Create some curiosity. Some subjects inspire a natural sense of curiosity in children. But when kids are bored, you may need to inspire a sense of wonder or mystery. Curiosity can come from hinting, disguising images or words, or partially revealing an answer to a question or topic. To that end, puzzles, scavenger hunts, and other tactics can be effective tools for eliminating boredom.
- Provide discussion time. One of the best ways to get rid of boredom is to change the way a lesson is taught. By adding in more discussion time, and reduce straight lecture, you help get your student more engaged. You can increase the engagement by making the discussion about the lesson more applicable to current events or things going on in your child’s life.
- Create. Creation is an active process. If your student is bored during a particular classroom lesson, give them a way to express what they have learned, or questions they have. Sketching, painting, building, cooking, and dancing are all creative exercises that are sure to eliminate boredom.
- Energize or recharge. Boredom also could be a reaction to fatigue – caused either by sitting too long, or not enough rest. If your student is acting a little slow and unresponsive, have them do some exercises. If that does not help, you might need to give them some time to recharge their batteries.
- Mix it up: who teaches and where. You can mix up a lesson by introducing a new teacher, or have your child participate in a lesson with another family. Another way would be to change the routine of your studying. For example, if you normally learn in one location – change up your routine to fight boredom. You may not want a very stimulating/distracting environment, but sometimes a change of location can remove classroom boredom.
- Keep it simple. One of the most common ways parent-teachers can contribute to classroom boredom is by making a lesson too complex. Over-complicating a subject could hinder progress, and make a student bored or disinterested. If possible, take a step back and simplify what you are teaching to see if that changes a student’s attitude.
- Look to the future or travel back in time. Though this may sound unorthodox, but thinking to the future or placing yourself in the past are interesting ways to get students engaged. I always remember the first day of lacrosse in gym, because my gym teacher would announce that we had traveled back in time to the land of the Iroquois. Transporting people from where they are to a different time opens up one’s imagination, and is a surefire way to crush boredom.
- Lastly…Be spontaneous! Boredom often sets in when routines take over learning. So, don’t be quite so predictable in how you teach every day. And if you can see your student is bored, do something unexpected – like go on a field trip. Best of all – don’t tell your student where you are going — just go.
These are some of the recommendations provided to us by Calvert parents.