Resistance and Avoidance

You may have heard of delight-directed homeschooling, where you create your homeschool course, approach and subjects around your child’s interests.  Tailor-made homeschooling.

Sounds perfect, right?  Except that some parents only focus on the subjects a child delights in, and leaves out those challenging subjects the child resists and avoids.  Not a balanced or a complete schooling.

Recently I read Brandy’s fabulous (older) post “My child doesn’t like X: Homeschooling Meets Resistanceover at,  I would like to share a few excellent quotes from her post ~

But here is something to think about: when a person — a child, or an adult — doesn’t like something that is good, there is something wrong with the person, not with the good thing.

She suggests  we need to think of ways to woo our children ” much like teaching children to eat new foods.”

When a child rejects something good, they need our help. This is not normally the time to back down and coddle. It is, however, the time to consider the ways in which to romance the child’s heart. I’m not saying the best idea is to force feed him a plateful of vegetables.

Here’s the crunch –

When we say, my child doesn’t like x so I’m going to take it right on out of the curriculum, we’re essentially allowing that child to eventually enter into the world with an underdeveloped palate.

Her post prompted me to share how I try to find a balance between delight-directed homeschooling  and the child’s avoidance and resistance …

It is tricky to find the balance between delight-directed studies and backing off subjects our child avoids or resists.

Practically then, how to do this?

  • Plan the course and all its subjects.  Include every aspect of each subject too!  Include memorization, recitations and projects that are often neglected.  Aim for at least one per semester.
  • Source the homeschool materials; online courses or videos, books, downloads, freebies, or re-using curriculums from older children.
  • Here’s the punch – Offer your child options within the subject, pretty much like saying, “Which of these poets should we start with?” Poetry is in the course.  No avoiding it, but giving the child some choices allows them some power in the decision.  Or, “Do you want to write your narrations in a minibook or on a notebook page?”  Writing narrations is not questioned, but the approach can be tailor-made, giving options which the child may enjoy more.
  • Plan the timetable  and place the difficult subject at a time where it will not be ignored or avoided.  Start with Maths, Spelling or Handwriting.  Insist on one Daily Theme  subject each day.  Sandwich a difficult subject after a pleasant subject and before a delightful one.

I love the ‘food’ analogy. Planning a complete curriculum is like menu planning. Sometimes we have to include the unwanted ingredient in a delightful combination. Sometimes it is out in the open and needs to be tackled head-on.

A great challenge!

Let me end with another fabulous Brandy quote –

“Today we’re going to spend a little bit of time doing something you don’t like. Studying something you don’t find interesting. Thinking about something you would rather not think about. And we’re going to do this because your feelings about this thing are totally and completely wrong. But that’s okay. You will learn to affirm the greatness of those who came before, and we’ll do it one little bite at a time … together.”

Look! I’ll go first.

Just brilliant!  We would love to hear your comments!  How do you cope with your child’s avoidance or resistance?

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8 thoughts on “Resistance and Avoidance

  1. Great post! Thank you so much. I’ve heard of this approach also. While it’s great for kids to study the things they love, they should also learn the things they don’t like too. Balance is important, and the how to is the key! I struggle with balance often!


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