There are some homeschool students who wake up bright and early and are rearing to go at their lessons in the beginning of the school day. Then there are those who can not manage to open their eyes in the morning and wish that they could keep their heads on the pillow just for five more minutes.
Why You Shouldn’t Teach a Sleepy Child
When they get to the class, you might find them dozing off just when you begin to teach them something that you know is going to be important for them to pay attention to. Don’t yell at them or ask them to sit straight because the brain is not going to obey you when it is sleepy and you will simply get more upset. Remember that sleep allows the toxins accumulated in the brain to be swept away, so that better brain activity is possible after the nap is over.
What Does This Mean?
Essentially speaking, you need a clear brain to learn. However it is also important to take a break and sleep, so that the brain can consolidate what you have just been learning as well. This is when the superfluous details are cut out and long term memories are strengthened. It is often found that you end up dreaming about something that you have just read or seen. This makes the memory better when you wake up. However if you are sleepy to begin with and can’t pay attention, you will not be able to learn at all.
What Should You Do?
Stop teaching! A homeschool parent may object saying that if they stopped teaching each time the child was sleepy they would never get any studies done. This is not true. What you need to do is switch the class to a more active mode physically so that the homeschool student wakes up. Then you can resume the original lesson plan. Here’s a simple trick, start playing a game like “Sit/Stand” in the class where you say either word and everyone in the homeschool class must do that. Between sitting and standing up and waiting to hear the next word, the child will become more alert and after about five minutes you can resume the class.