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Reluctant Learners

Seven steps to bring joy into your child's learning

If your child refuses to learn—balks, throws fits, and is consistently in a bad mood about their education, we recommend taking a step back from insistence and coercion. Follow these steps to rediscover the joy of learning.

Seven Steps to Guide Your Child’s Education

1. Do nothing. Take a week where nothing is planned and let your kids do whatever is interesting to them. 

2. Each night, reflect on what happened that day. Think of what your child actually did: from the big juicy conversation you had about their favorite movie series to the argument they had with their sibling and subsequent negotiations. 

3. Tie the interest to a subject. Create a page with a box for each subject (reading, writing, math, science, history, grammar, personal interests & hobbies, miscellaneous). After you’ve listed the things your child has done, assign an item to each subject area. This will help you recognize how the things your kid has already done are adjacent to school subjects. 

4. At the end of the week, take those sheets and ask yourself: What’s missing? If you notice that something is missing, pause and think about how to address that one thing. 

5. Share with your kids. Show your sheets to your child and acknowledge how much they are doing meaningful activities. 

  • Tie in the subjects that they are lagging in Brainstorm with them the areas in their life where the weak subject may already be showing up in their life.
  • Set up a schedule to grow this skill. Build an interval training program to help them build up to a meaningful goal over time with built-in breaks.
  • If your child doesn’t feel fired up about a subject and you are out of ideas, hire a tutor or take an online class. Allow yourself some outside support.

6. Accommodate a child’s preference for when. Put this school subject into an hour of the child’s choosing when possible and try to create an environment that supports the child. Add a little coziness and warmth to the subject.

7. Only pick one lacking subject per month.  Most of the time, refusal to learn comes from overload.


Read more about this and listen to the podcast here: Joy-Centered Learning for the Reluctant Learner