Four Tips for Homeschooling Your Child with ADHD

The following post is from Angie of Many Little Blessings:

Homeschooling with ADHD
source: Clipart.com

Homeschooling can definitely be challenging. However, when one or more of  the children that you have decided to homeschool have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) , your job can become even more challenging. However, there are things that you can do to help make the school day a success for your child with ADHD.

Here are some simple ways to help them (and you).

Be present, even during independent work.

As children get older and begin to do more and more of their work independently, it can be tempting to spend time working on some of your own projects and just assisting when they ask for help. Many children with ADHD, however, need someone to monitor that they are staying on task.

In our home, we make sure that an adult is close when our oldest son does his most challenging independent work. He often scores well, but it takes him a very long time if someone isn’t there to gently nudge him back to work when his mind wants to wander to movies he has seen and games that he likes to play.

Pair up preferred and non-preferred subjects.

A great idea for any child, pairing up preferred and non-preferred subjects can be just what a child with ADHD needs to keep working or just to decompress after their non-preferred subjects. After a sometimes stress-filled math session, my child with ADHD, who also has Asperger’s Syndrome, loves a chance to just relax and read for a while before moving on to another subject.

Minimize distractions during non-preferred subjects.

While it is a great idea to minimize distractions in general, it’s also a good idea for people with ADHD to learn coping mechanisms for what to do when they are distracted when working. However, if there are stress inducing subjects at your home (like math at ours), it would usually be best to minimize distractions during those times.

Each of our children play an instrument and have their practice time written in as a school activity each day. However, it is a well established rule that since our son with ADHD finds the music especially distracting, nobody is allowed to practice instruments while any one else is doing math. In that way, we are not singling him out, and it has just become an understood rule in the house.

Base some activities and projects around interests.

A student who might moan and cry over needing to write a research paper might perk up a bit when they find out that you’ll allow them to do it about one of their favorite subjects. When we recently had to do a country project at our co-op, my son requested to do his about Greece, since he loves Ancient Greek and Roman History. This helped to retain his interest more than if a country at random had been assigned to him.

What are ways that you tweak your homeschooling to make it more successful for your children?

Angie, a domestically-challenged writer and artist, is a homeschooling mom to three children. She writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, and Just a Tiny Owl.
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