Homeschool Problems:
What Do You Do When Your Child Won't Do School Work?

Sharing homeschool problems is the best way to get support and reassurance, especially when you can ask for help from homeschoolers who know exactly what you're talking about!

One of the commonest problems with homeschooling is battles with your child when they won't do any school work.

And one of the delights of homeschooling is that we can all support each other and help work out the answer that suits you best.

You'll find answers here from a whole range of homeschooling families who have posted their replies on my facebook wall.

You'll also find Homeschool Secrets of Success an indispensable guide to how to deal with motivation problems in your homeschool.

"What a wonderful bit of perspective. Thanks" ~ Khrys'e

What do you do when your kids won't do school work?

Homeschooling Answers

When you're homeschooling, the responsibility for teaching your child can get overwhelming at times.

That's why I enlisted the help of more than 8,000 Facebook fans to write Homeschool Secrets of Success so we could create an indispensable guide to how to avoid battles with the kids so that you create a happy and enthusiastic home where learning stays fun.

Homeschool Secrets of Success
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Because this particular question is one of the homeschool problems that has many of us foxed at times, I am going to give below a taste of how you can deal with it.

So what do you do? 

The great thing about homeschool problems is that there isn't one answer.

Every homeschooling family is different.

So you'll need to pick and choose from the answers below and find the ones that call out to you as being the most help to you and your family.

your answers

This is what my Facebook fans say:

"Go out together and have a day off. Be flexible and patient." ~ Haidar

"All work must be complete or no privileges are given (computer, phone, games). It's always their choice to finish their work or not, but they know the consequence. Of course we school year around and some days require more time and diligence than others, but we have plenty of off time to play!" ~ Denise

"I've learned over the years, that the work will get done. I don't stress about it. Everyone has bad days. You have to choose your battles. Some of our bad days, have turned out to be our best. My boys are in 10th, and 12th grades." ~ Sharon

"Field Trip!" ~ Arithmetic Village

"Go food shopping any outing can transpire into a non threatening and natural learning experience!" ~ Katie

"Play whatever, wherever, with whoever." ~ Joy

"I know from experience that when they get it once, they try it again and is not about me being flexible, is about the children getting to know the rules....home schooling is anyways more flexible than school ... how much more flexible should it be when children don't want to do school work!?" ~ Maria

"We don't do 'school work'. Simple." ~ Gail

"I tend to change the focus. It depends on the day. Sometimes that may mean taking a few minutes (or longer) and just letting people play. Sometimes it means changing the environment for example take the math from the dining room table and do it under a shady tree in the yard. Homeschooling is about redefining education anyway so personally I have had to work on being more flexible. I have learned the work will get done but who says it has to be done on my schedule? I have found that if I work with them they are more likely to work with me." ~ Tobias

diane loomans quote

You'll find another of the common homeschool problems:

My Child Can't Write

answered on my help with homeschooling page.

"I've had days like these. That's when I decide, it's time to take a break. We go outside, listen to music to relax those little brains, go walking, or have a field trip. The work will get done and it's better when your kids take a break and refocus. The next day we're all usually more calmed and ready to finish our school work. Also, we even do 'school work' when having fun out of the house. The kids just look at it as a break but I throw in there some science lessons and social studies." ~ Ilenia

"Field trips or art." ~ Ellie

"My oldest daughter (now 20 yrs old and recently married) is extremely stubborn and unfortunately she has learned most of her lessons about having to do school work in the school of hard knocks. Her refusal to do her work was not just an occasional thing, it was everyday. I tried numerous different curriculums, teaching styles, etc without success. Finally, when it came to high school and grades, etc would really count for college, we sent her to public high school. She went 2 yrs before she realized the grass was not greener on the other side of the fence and asked to come home. This is not always the best answer but for a chronic problem it is something to pray about." ~ Heather

"If it's just bad attitude, then they can go lay down a while. If it's a valid reason, we go from there and decide the course of action." ~ Lisa

We love homeschooling because

"Time to get the wiggles out! Dance party, outside time etc." ~ Meghann

"Threaten to send them back to regular school! Works every time!" ~ SE Queensland Homeschooling Network

"lol I have used that one a couple of times SE Queensland lol BUT if it's just the odd lesson here and there... I've offered them an alternative and asked them what 'they' preferred to do... swap a lesson around etc or delay it an hour or two. Hope this helps xx" ~Lynn

"Make sure the work isn't too hard or too easy. Just because something is supposed to be their "grade level" doesn't mean it's the best fit for your kiddo." ~ Tracie

"My husband "walked off the job". He told the kids if they weren't going to try, why should he? He said, just go do whatever you want. They skipped away and played but at the end of the day they said they were sorry and wanted to do school the next day." ~ Dawn

"I've used the threat of sending mine back to public school but it doesn't always work so the other incentive is take away TV etc. until work is done. Seems to work most of the time." ~ Karen

"Take a break from "school". Learning happens in many ways and it doesn't have to look like "school". Find what their interests are and pursue that." ~ Gina

homeschool joke

"Let them take a day off! If learning isn't shoved down their throats like at public school, they will love learning! My kids rarely complain about projects or lessons." ~ Rachel

"You have to determine why the refusal is given. Are they sick? Being rebellious? Overwhelmed at the type or amount if work? Give a break if appropriate. Reprimand if appropriate. Break the work into smaller chunks...just introduce rather than expect mastery of a topic. God bless you." ~ Melinda

what a four year old should know

"Change the way I'm teaching. I want my children to love to learn. Learning shouldn't be torture and painful. If you want them to be life-time learners, you've got to let them do what interests them. When they want to learn, they will learn, and you won't have to make them do anything. They'll be inspired and excited. Find their passion and talents, then you'll have to make them stop!" ~ Dayna

"My Kindergartener does this all the time... I can't threaten to send him back to public school because he has never been. Besides, he'd probably want to go because his friends are there! We take days off. If I get to stressed about it I may want to quit myself." ~ Jessica

"Sometimes it's as easy as asking "why" and listening. There are fun ways to "cure" my hand or leg hurts, I'm hungry, I can't sit anymore. Sometimes their brains are focused on a much bigger issue." ~ Tanya

"K12 online academy was the worst experience. Nothing but pressure, deadlines, and student comparisons." ~ Rachel

"Mine are 15, and 17 year old boys. I have a "make a Deposit" jar in our classroom. When they don't do their work, or talk back to me, they put $1 in the jar. So far I have $50. " ~ Sharon

Tackling Homeschool Problems

Thank you to everyone here who has taken the time to give some home school help.

I think it's great we can help each other like this and there are some brilliant suggestions here as well as lots of reassurance. Thank you so much.

It might be fun to know that the times when my kids seem to be doing absolutely nothing is also one of my homeschool problems! 

And because battles with the kids is one of the main reasons Homeschooling fails, I have written Homeschool Secrets of Success  to prove to you that the biggest secret to homeschool success is motivation.

Homeschool Secrets of Success

Once you can get your kids on the same side, your homeschool problems will be far less! 

Homeschool Secrets of Success contains:

  • a wealth of practical help to show you exactly what things you can do in your homeschool to get your kids happy and enthusiastic - and what not to do.
  • teaching tips
  • advice on scheduling


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Please note that the book links on this page are affiliate links so if you buy I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Have you got some homeschool problems (haven't we all!!!) and would you like some home school help?

You'll see I've set up a home school help page where you can ask any question you want.

Sharing homeschool problems is a great way to get some help and the reassurance that you are not alone.

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