ADHD is nothing to be embarrassed about. So we want to share 10 Tips for Homeschooling a Child with ADHD.
The rest of the world has to function in a linear (first A, then B, followed by C) path through life. Those of us with ADD can think of MANY things at once- and do several at the same time. (We just have to learn when we have to focus – and where – and how to close the activity loops we live in so that things get completed.)
10 Tips for Homeschooling a Child with ADHD
I’d like to chat for a couple of days about ADHD and homeschooling, since I’ve lived through it myself. The very basics are here in today’s classic post:
How many times today will your child fall out of his own chair or drop his pencil? How many times will you have to redirect his focus? If your answer is “lots”, you might have a child with Attention Deficit Disorder.
ADHD is a common experience for American children. Kids with ADHD experience inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and/or impulsiveness.
-Not seem to be listening
-Struggle to follow instructions
-Fidget and squirm
-Dash around, touch things
-Constantly in motion
-Have trouble sitting still
-Have trouble doing quiet activities
-Blurt out inappropriate comments
-Act without thinking
-Show their emotions without restraint
-Have difficulty waiting turns
-Often interrupt others
10 Tips for Homeschooling a Child with ADHD
Here are some of the current thoughts about the causes of ADHD (causes may differ from child to child):
1. Genetics– Parents with ADHD are more likely to have children with ADHD
2. Food allergies– An article in the British medical journal, The Lancet, states that some children have attention deficits if they eat certain foods. (Parents of ADHD kids will often say that sugar and food dyes are often triggers of attention problems.)
3. Anxiety– Children under a lot of stress will sometimes exhibit hyperactive behavior.
4. Immaturity– Children who are being asked to do seatwork/textwork before they are developmentally ready often exhibit attention problems.
5. Boyhood– Boys tend to wiggle more than girls, anyway.
What to do?
1. Concentrate on multi-sensory learning, unit studies, and creativity.
2. Watch the food intake.
3. Lots of exercise. (These guys need to have rigorous movement daily.)
4. Frequent breaks.
5. Develop strengths. (God made each child with special gifts. Help your child find his talents.)
6. Medicate if necessary. (Talk to your pediatrician to see if this is the best option.)
7. “What should I be doing now?” Set a timer, each time it goes off, have the child ask himself that question. If he is on-task, he gets a reward.
8. Keep boundaries. Self-discipline helps a child feel more in control of himself, but he has to learn that by learning to follow rules.
9. Teach etiquette. A child who can manage himself around other people will feel better about himself. 7Sisters Homeschool Social Skills workbook has 10 important basic skills for kids- VERY practical for kids with ADHD.
While you’re at it, teach your child how to interact with peers that have special needs. Click here for more information.
10. Have lots of fun. Create happy moments daily!
Homeschooling is a terrific option for kids with ADHD. Blessing on your experience!
What are some tips that have helped with your ADHD child? Here are 5 tips for elementary aged students with ADHD.
Here’s Sabrina’s Work in Progress
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7 Replies to “10 Tips for Homeschooling a Child with ADHD”
My youngest started showing signs of anxiety when she was around three. Her worries brought hard questions, behaviors, and many late night chats, all of which sent me into my own panic. Online programs, books, and apps have not only helped us manage our anxiety, but they’ve also shaped the way we homeschool. Thanks for this amazing article!
Thanks, Ashley! Praise God for the many resources we have these days. The digital world can provide a powerful support system for parents with children experiencing anxiety and/or ADHD or other needs.
It was a relief to find the food triggers for my husband and children. It not only helped their attention and behavior, but their health improved dramatically. Instead of being in the doctor’s office weekly. we had to remember to make yearly appointments!
It also helped to use the other things mentioned along with being prepared to have days when your lesson plans don’t get finished(or sometimes even started) You definitely have to go with the flow and pick the battles you want to fight.
Thanks, Cindy, the adventure, of course, is figuring out which foods are triggers for which kid:)
Dealing with a child with ADD or ADHD can be challenging, but most can learn to compensate if they are given proper direction. External “systems” to help keep papers and supplies organized, checklists for things that need to be done, structuring the environment for maximal learning, are all good tools to use when a child is distractable.
You are right, Marilyn. I know I have ADHD tendencies myself. I survive on making external structures- schedules, lists, and help from other folks.