Supporting Your Child’s Learning At Home: 

The Family Playbook


What do I do when it is not working?


For some families homeschooling has been an intentional choice while others have been forced to embrace this new reality.  Regardless, these changes have created new stress for families. While there will be good days and bad days, the key to surviving the challenging times is having tools to solve problems effectively. These tools need to be explicitly taught and are an important part of the school day (home or on campus). Helping your child develop problem solving skills paves a path to independence and helps  create a more harmonious day.


  • Work Together. Reflect and troubleshoot together. 
    • Keep an eye out for what works. Get in a daily habit of talking about what worked and what could be better the next day.
    • Different kids need different things. Is there something specific your child needs to help them persist in the work and to make it more fun, like music on in the background or frequent snack breaks?
  • Use 5 Steps. When problems occur or agreements are broken, use these steps to help your child solve the issue: 
    • Identify the problem. You need to know what the problem is before you can solve it.
    • Brainstorm solutions. It is helpful to think of as many different solutions to the problem as possible. 
    • Choose the best solution. Think about what would happen if you chose each of the solutions you came up with. Evaluate them for safety and fairness. 
    • Try the solution.
    • Evaluate the solution. Did it work? If not, try another one. 
  • Deal With the Unexpected. For parents and teachers alike, things don’t always go as planned; when tantrums and unexpected behaviors happen:  
    • Take a breath and stay calm.
    • Acknowledge your child’s feelings. For example, “It is really upsetting when your crayon breaks.”
    • Wait out the tantrum. This is not the time to problem solve—your child won’t be able to reason. 
    • Be consistent. If you sometimes give your child what they want during a tantrum, tantrums may become more frequent. 
    • Once your child is calm, ask them what they need to move forward and/or offer suggestions for a better way to meet needs.
  • Encourage Independence. Talk to your child about when and how to get help. Encourage your child to attempt a problem on their own first, then use a resource when available (online tool, dictionary, counting cubes, call a friend etc), then, if they are still stumped, ask a parent for help. Saving your child from a learning struggle is not always helpful. Sometimes those struggles are when the most learning takes place!


Other Resources

UCTV & Thrive Video

Other Sections in the Family Playbook: