Teaching Kids Who Are Always On the Move

Even as a classroom teacher, I hated the fact that kids had to sit in desks for most of the day. I allowed as much movement as I reasonably could in a classroom of twenty kids. One of the things I love about homeschooling is that I can allow kids to move. But sometimes I feel like they never sit still. How can I teach a child that constantly moves?

Teach short lessons. 
Short lessons are one of the main methods of Charlotte Mason education. When I first began reading about Charlotte Mason as a young homeschooling mama, many of her ideas and methods resonated with me. This was one of the main ones. I think we often push children into being fidgety and too restless because we expect them to sit through long lessons.

Decide when and why it is most important for kids to sit still. 
I do not see a purpose in just making children sit still through lots of lesson time. We are at home, in the comfort of our own house. Why would I recreate a school environment where kids need to sit still? There are times they need to be more still. If what they are doing is a distraction to themselves or someone else, perhaps there is too much movement. But know your reasons for requiring a child to sit still.

Provide appropriate things that allow for a little movement. 
I have always allowed my kids to color or draw if we are reading long amounts at a time. I understand that sometimes their hands need to be busy for their minds to be focused. At times I've also allowed play-doh or even Legos to be used depending on the situation.

Stagger subjects that require more sitting still with subjects that allow for movement. 
With our current curriculum, Bible and history generally require a bit of reading- my reading aloud while the kids listen and occasionally narrate. I try to space these subjects with some other subjects that allow for more movement and getting up and down so that the kids don't have to sit and listen to reading so long.

Know when to call it quits for the moment. 
Sometimes a child is so fidgety that you just both need a break. Having a trampoline has been a lifesaver for me. I've been known to send out a child to jump off some energy so we can regroup and try again. If you don't have a trampoline, running a few laps around the perimeter of the house works pretty well too.

Teaching kids who like to move can provide some challenges. But, often these kids are also lots and lots of fun. Enjoy the time you have together without constantly stressing over sitting still.

If you want some more ideas about teaching wiggly kids, cruise around to some of the other Review Crew members' blogs.



  1. we often play with toys while we work. :) Keeps things sane. :)

    annette @ A net in time

    1. I agree! Those little hands need to be busy.


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