Eliminate Homeschool Classroom Squirmies!

Have a highly distractible student in your homeschool classroom? I do too!

Even with the flexibility of homeschooling, keeping these children focused on schoolwork isn't easy – no matter how fun you make it.

Over the years many things have entered our schoolroom, only to have to find another home somewhere else. In spite of a somewhat bare room, highly distractible children can find the most insignificant thing to divert their attention from completing their assignments or accomplishing tasks.

Just before entering kindergarten, I would have my daughter practice getting dressed in the morning after breakfast.

After allowing more than enough time, I would check on her, only to find her sitting in her room, half dressed with socks on her hands, putting on a nice puppet show for her audience of one! :)

When beginning to homeschool her, I often wondered...
"Can I really home school my child?"

Maybe you have asked the same question.

My daughter is seventeen now, but over the years MANY things have been taken out of our homeschool room.

As you plan and prepare for next school year, here are some items you will want to cross off your homeschool material list:


Kids get easily distracted, especially when it comes to something as monotonous as schoolwork.

If you homeschool multiple children, find another place away from your distractible child, to do out-loud work.

TV’s, radios, and computers easily draw children’s minds away from school.

If you can’t completely remove them from your homeschool classroom, then turn their screens away from the student and turn their volumes down.

Other things that might divert homeschool children’s attention are other siblings, open windows and colorful charts and maps on the wall.

My daughter writes...

"A pupil working on a very disagreeable subject can and will find anything to take his or her mind off of what he is doing.

In seventh grade, math was the accursed subject that I dragged my feet to every morning.

A thirty question lesson would turn into two hours of begrudging grumblings because I couldn’t keep my mind and eyes on my work.

Everything else was more interesting than that textbook and notebook sitting in front of me. My eyes flitted from book titles, to the intricate lines in the carpet, to the colorful marks of my little sister’s project on the wall, to the sunlight filtering through the window.

The only thing that ended my two hours of prolonged mathematical drudgery was my mom pushing my desk into a bare corner, eliminating my free view of distractible objects."


The next set of items to scratch off your homeschool classroom list is things that entertain.

Eliminate anything that will tempt your student to get up and play, instead of completing less interesting assignments.

My daughter writes...

"Kid magnets and attention grabbers like toys, unrelated books, games, and projects that belong to other subjects, should be moved to another location, outside your homeschool room.

Kids also get discouraged easily. Boredom or loss of concentration happens quicker when things we can’t have are within sight.

My one year old brother is a lively, loveable distraction. We love to watch his hilarious reactions as he relates and interacts with everything around him.

He is especially entertaining to watch when my five year old sister is doing the dreaded kindergarten subject – handwriting.

At times we look up to see pencil and paper abandoned and suppressed giggles coming from the other room.

At those times, it’s so tempting to spring up and join in the fun. Instead... I try to stay glued to my seat while the wee ball of distraction is moved to another part of the house to wreak havoc."

Boredom and Monotony

Don’t make your kids stay in one room all day. A benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility to change and school however you like.

Take time away from your homeschool schedule for fun and exercise.
Move around and explore!

My daughter writes...

"Kids and teens hate it when we have to sit glued to our seat for the entire day. Alluring rays of Fall or Spring flittering through the window, or even a light dusting of snow in the winter makes it hard to keep one’s self in one’s chair!

When I was younger and full of wiggles, my mom helped me by letting me do school in different parts of our house. It allowed me to escape the same old four walls around my desk for awhile.

Microscopes, globes, maps and other hands-on activities set up in another room, helped to get rid of my homeschool classroom 'squirmies'."

Look for opportunities to let your kids go outside your homeschool classroom to learn – backyard science experiments, outdoor reading or a bit of physical education.

Going outdoors enhances the educational development of your child and it’s a great way to get rid of that extra energy.

Copyright 2008 Heather and Alisha Gneco

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