If you are homeschooling a compliant child, it may seem like a dream come true. These obedient kids are wonderfully low-stress for their parents as they possess pleasing, easy going dispositions, and take direction well. However, because of their demeanor, when they are in trouble they don’t always throw up the white flag. In fact, it generally takes some sleuthing from mom or dad to put it all together!

Unlike a “vocal / opinionated ” child, the compliant child isn’t as quick to announce that they are having problems.

If you are homeschooling a compliant child, here are some cues to look for:

  • Subtle changes in temperament especially regarding a previously well-loved subject.
  • Procrastination
  • Vague answers in regards to completed work
  • Avoidance of discussions about school

I have “one of those” kids. Recently I have had to learn the subtle signals for help. For the most part, schooling my compliant child has been a piece of cake. He’s highly adaptable, handles pressure well and generally goes with the flow of life.

At the beginning of the year he expressed a strong interest in computer programming. We found a great curriculum and he was off and running! One day I noticed he didn’t pick up his Computer Science book directly after morning devotions – in fact, it was the last thing he did during his school day. That should have been my first clue. The next was the subtle lack of enthusiasm for a programming project.

Picking up his book, I noticed that the current chapter was ALL about a final project. There was active programming to be done everyday. I knew he had read the material, but hadn’t been programing on the computer for the whole week. It was too much to do in one sitting, so there had to be a problem.

I pulled him aside to talk. In true “compliant” form, it took a while to get at the root. Turns out he had gotten lost two chapters previously and wasn’t quite sure what to do. Since I didn’t pick up on the subtle hints, I continued to move him along in his work.

I reassured him that it’s perfectly fine to take more time on a concept that he doesn’t completely understand. (This is especially important in subjects where knowledge builds upon itself.) BUT, it was very important to speak up earlier and not wait.

Fortunately this was only a two week set-back. What he needed most was a block of quiet/uninterrupted time to go back and find the missing pieces before continuing on.

The moral of this story? If you are blessed with ‘one of those’ kids, listen and watch carefully for subtle cues that can be a signal for help. Teaching them how to ask for help while they’re young will set them up for success in high school, college, and beyond!

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