How To Teach Your Kids Patiently


Ah, patience. It’s a virtue, so they say. Not everyone has that virtue and the people who have it the least are parents thrust into home educating children without experience and while holding down jobs. Patience tends to go flying out of the window in these cases, and it makes it a little harder to teach at home when you can’t hold your own frustration in. 

Whether you are an official teacher in a school or not, you’re a teacher now and you need all the math teaching tools and spelling books you can get your hands on. You need all the materials to teach your children, but more than that, you need to have patience with it and teach without yelling. Yelling shows that you’ve finally lost control and your kids will know that! They need you to teach them patiently and so you have to make a start by making a promise not to should - for you as much as them. It’s exhausting to yell and I don't know about you, but I can’t learn when someone is shouting in my face - kids probably can’t either! With that in mind, here are some tips for maintaining patience when teaching your kids.

  1. Set some ground rules. Work with the kids to come up with a system that ensures everyone knows the rules. Establish and review rules for listening and speaking at the right time, and you’ll be more successful. Kids can’t find success if they don't know what’s expected of them in the first place. 

  2. Keep to a good routine. You need this more than the kids do: if you are in a routine, you know what to expect and there’s no reason to feel anxious or worried about what’s about to occur. You need everything down pat from what time you start school, to how many breaks you have throughout the day. Don't be afraid to keep this on the wall to remind you all. Keep reinforcing these throughout your home education adventure so that none of you forget what comes next.

  3. Stick at it. If you have set rules and routines, set them and stick to them. Don't deviate even if you really want to because your children are going to realize that they can get away from working and you will be the reason that they think it’s okay!

  4. Teach, not dictate. Talking over the kids and shouting in their faces how to learn or that they’re stupid? Clearly an ineffective teaching method. Take turns to talk, let them answer questions properly before you jump in with the next problem. Let your children get things wrong and teach them that they’re going to learn more from their mistakes than from their successes.

Use a range of techniques. The classroom is packed with techniques and you can use so many of the patient ones from gentle parenting gurus like Sarah Ockwell-Smith. She can teach you how to remain calm when your instinct is to lose it - you can unlearn this behavior you grew up with.