How to Help Your Older Kid Who Hates School Work

What do you do when your older kid protests against an assignment? As a parent, you probably recognize the importance of completing a lesson even when your child dislikes doing it. Learning to follow through on a task is part of growing up and learning to be responsible.

On the other hand you want your older kid to enjoy learning. You realize that trudging through the assignment means they will probably retain very little information. Their goal is to get the assignment done with as little effort and minimal time as possible.

How to Help Your Older Kid Who Hates School Work

I think it is wise to take a step back and look at the goals we have for homeschooling our older kids. This is the time when we want them to grow in their knowledge of God and their love for Him. We want to be pointing them to Christ and letting the Holy Spirit work in their lives. This is a time for them to discover their interests and passions. We also want them to develop their gifts and talents and begin to think about how God might use them in a future job or ministry.

As parents we often get wrapped up in test scores and comparing our children to others. Our focus gets stuck on what our kids still need to learn instead of all that they have already accomplished. While it is important to cover all the subjects, it doesn’t have to be done through textbooks or traditional methods of learning.

If your kid hates doing school work then take some time to prayerfully consider some of these questions.

  • Are your standards or expectations too high?
  • Does your child feel pressured to live up to the accomplishments of an older sibling?
  • Are they disinterested in the subject?
  • Does the curriculum fit the way they learn?
  • Have you taken the time to include your child in the process of deciding what they will learn and which curriculum they will use?
  • Does your child have the time to explore topics that they love?
  • Are there opportunities available to pursue interests and talents?
  • Are you overly focused on test scores and preparing for the SAT’s?
  • Have you taken the time to listen to your older kid’s dreams and fears for the future?
  • Are you pointing your child to Christ?

Homeschooling an older kid provides opportunities to allow our maturing child to discover interests, talents and passions that they might not otherwise have time to pursue. Traditional ways of learning aren’t the only way of doing things. Your kid could enroll in college classes or take co-op classes. Perhaps their is an apprenticeship opportunity or volunteer opportunity in an area they are passionate about. Maybe your kid needs to learn from DVD’s, online classes, computer based curriculum, lectures or living books. Allow your older kid to have input into what they are learning and what curriculum (if any) they will use.

Remember that God has a plan for your child. Spend time praying for wisdom from the One who knows exactly what your child needs to be learning on any given day. And enjoy these years with your older kid. They go by so quickly.

This post was shared at Hip Homeschool Moms.


  1. Janelle, I enjoyed so much how you wrote about praying about and knowing that God has a plan in our child’s life and homeschooling journey. Thank you for sharing this encouragement with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

  2. Hi Janelle, I found your site on #SocialButterfulSunday. My kids are a bit younger but I already see signs of disinterest in my older one. Just today I delved into a book about Learning Styles to get a better sense of what works for him. I’m glad I found this and I’m grateful for your encouragement — especially the point about praying for wisdom. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I teach a number of students who hate school. It’s a challenge! Thank you for these tips. I also hated school as a kid so I get it. Linking EVERYTHING to why/how it will either help them in the future or is related to their passion (sports, video games, etc.).

    Thanks for what you are doing!

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