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I’ll be honest.
I consider myself to be a fairly positive person. I try to look for the bright side in unfortunate situations, I strive to see the best in people, and I am a firm believer that something good can be found in even the worst days…
But positivity does not come naturally to me.
My husband and I were discussing this recently while we were driving in some crummy traffic and thinking about some all-too-recent storms that we’ve walked through. Fortunately, this gave us the chance to talk about a few of the ways we can work together to create a positive environment in our home and hopefully train our children to be positive individuals. (See? Bright side!)
I thought while it was fresh on my mind, I’d share some of the things we came up with that relate specifically to learning. I hope they will be of help to you on your home education journey!
Praising efforts instead of end results helps students develop a growth mindset that helps them build resilience, fosters a love of learning, and ultimately takes them further than talent alone. When encouraging your child, choose specific compliments that praise process more than performance. Encourage them to acknowledge their own efforts by asking them to seek out their own daily successes, either orally or in a “success journal” that they can refer back to when they are feeling frustrated.
Be Mindful of Your Own Attitude
Children are remarkably perceptive, and easily pick up on their parents’ attitudes. Strive to find ways to manage your own stress levels, and check your own negative “vibes” before working with your children. Take it a step further by modeling positive self-talk when you struggle with your own frustrations or difficult circumstances.
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
It’s hard to be negative when you focus on the things that fill your heart with joy. One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. I’m particularly in love with this one by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. It’s designed just for kids! You can check it out by clicking the pic below.
Discourage Complaining for the Sake of Complaining
As the old saying goes, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Teach your kids to reframe their negative whining and complaining into a positive by brainstorming solutions for their problems. Doing this not only creates a more positive environment, but also prepares them for independence by teaching them to resolve issues on their own.
Encourage SMART Goal Setting
Goals should be challenging, but unrealistic expectations can leave children feeling defeated and trigger negative thoughts and behavior. Help them choose action-oriented goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Focus on Strengths
One of the most wonderful things about homeschooling is that you get to teach in a way that aligns with your child’s strengths. It is an incredible gift to be able to customize your curriculum in a way that helps them become the people they are called to be! As my friend Sallie Borrink says, “embrace your child and embrace the freedom you have to tailor her education to her specific needs.”
What tips and tricks have you successfully used to create a more positive learning environment? Share your best ideas in the comments.