How do I homeschool my child who is anxious?
Bullying, social pressures, and, for some kids, classroom environment can be aggravating factors for a child who struggles with anxiety. Home education alleviates these issues, but as a parent, you can do much more than simply eliminate problems.
Parents, intentionally consider your child’s diet, sleep habits, outdoor time, exercise, screen time, and general environment. You likely already know some of what your child needs to feel comfortable. If your child needs to sleep longer or eat more frequently than a brick and mortar school allows, that’s okay. If your child requires silence or needs to pace herself in completing a task, these are both possible. You are in your home. You are in control.
As you spend more time with your child, you may notice and help your child identify triggers to times when they are feeling especially anxious. You can also help them practice using their coping tools. Scheduling school around extra health and counselling appointments can prevent your child from feeling like they need to catch up or that they missed something.
As you start home educating your anxious child, embrace the new focus. When an anxious public schooled child is struggling, sometimes success is defined by how many days in a week they actually went to, or stayed at, school. Now that you’re home educating, the focus can be on learning. Your child is not a student who has a problem or thinks they are a problem. Your child is simply a student who learns from home. This change of focus can be a new and welcome status for your child. This can really benefit their state of mind, enabling healing and learning to occur.