Homeschool Tantrums: Identifying Gaps or Behavior Issues

Many homeschooling parents experience tantrums from their children daily. These episodes can last for minutes or even hours, and it is crucial that parents work together to find the root of the problem–whether it be learning gaps or behavior issues.

With proper attention and action, future homeschool tantrums can be avoided entirely.

In this article, I’ll show you a few steps to tell the difference between your child’s issues being due to behavioral problems or skill gaps.

Identifying Learning Gaps

It is not uncommon for learning gaps to lead to behavioral issues. Observe your child’s reaction as you work through the steps below.

If they become upset, focus on the behavior issue steps and think about switching to another learning style such as Charlotte Mason or Montessori.

It can be tricky to identify why your child is acting out, especially when they don’t know (or won’t tell you) the reason.

The best way to do this is by ensuring your kid doesn’t feel any additional stress from not knowing something taught in school or if there’s a concept they’re struggling with retaining.

  • Assess Your Child’s Skill Level – Assessing your child’s skill level in the subjects with tantrums can help you understand what sets them off. Try having them do some math, copy work, or writing to help identify the area causing difficulty.
  • Practical Pop Quizzes – You can use driving time, standing in lines, or waiting for appointments as opportunities to do oral math or ask questions that will help you determine if there are any gaps in comprehension of the subjects you have been questioning.
  • Play Games that Use the Skills in Question – Use games that incorporate the skills you want to test – If your child is struggling with a particular skill, deliberately choose lower-level games to evaluate how quickly they can complete said task. This method works for Kindle Fire, computers, and board games (and check out our posts on teaching math with legos and dominos).
  • Switch Up the Roles – Parents should take turns with their children teaching them once a week. This allows kids to have the opportunity to be the teachers while also giving parents a way to gauge what their child has learned. If they can explain things easily and confidently, they’ve learned what’s necessary. However, if there are gaps in their knowledge, it will be easy for parents to identify those areas that need more work.

Identifying Behavioral Issues

Spotting behavioral problems start with taking a step back and closely watching your kid’s conduct at different times and in various settings.

With kids who act out during homeschooling, they have usually realized that they can change the scenarios they don’t like and get their desired outcome by misbehaving.

To discern behavioral issues, you must be frank with yourself. If you start noticing problems during homeschooling that also happen outside of school, working on those issues in other areas is better before tackling them head-on.

  • Evaluate Your Child’s Obedience Level – When you ask your child to do something they don’t want to, how quickly or willingly do they comply? What actions do they take if they’re trying to avoid the task at hand? Are these actions similar to when they have a tantrum during homeschooling?
  • Evaluate Your Child’s Ability to Problem-Solve – When your child faces difficulties while learning a new skill or indulging in a new interest, how do they react? Do they get frustrated quickly and give up when it isn’t easy, or are they excited to keep trying and ultimately learn something new?
  • Evaluate Your Child’s Response to A Different Teacher – As a homeschooling mom, this can be difficult to accept, but it is necessary to mitigate tantrums caused by behavior issues. These antics are usually a way of manipulating and trying to assert control. To get an accurate understanding, you should consider having someone else teach the lessons during which the episodes occur most frequently. After one or two sessions, you’ll likely have a clear idea of whether there’s a learning gap or behavioral problem at play.

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