Homeschooling provides parents with a chance to cater to their child’s learning abilities. It provides students a chance to learn at their own pace, and not be tied up in a classroom for a full day. Homeschooling provides those students who have difficulty in classroom settings to thrive. This is the case for the ADHD child.
Children with ADHD tend to be fidgety, lack attention, and may have trouble comprehending what is being said in a typical classroom. They are wired differently, and being in one room or required to sit still all day does not play to their learning abilities at all.
Children with ADHD do best when allowed to learn in an environment that caters to their needs and provides a one on one education. Children with ADHD tend to thrive in a homeschool environment.
Here are some tips that can help as you begin homeschooling your ADHD child.
Break up the tasks into smaller increments
This allows the material to be more manageable for your child. At the beginning of day you can give your child a checklist of what you will be covering that day. This allows them to focus more clearly because they are able to see what is coming next.
Find a quiet place for your child to learn. Make sure there is nothing distracting like lights that are flickering, or a desk full of items unrelatable to the task at hand. Children with ADHD need their work areas to be clear and organized, this helps them focus and stay on task.
If the weather is nice, take a lesson outdoors. If this is not an option incorporate hands-on activities into your lessons. Children with ADHD tend to be more kinesthetic learners. They benefit greatly from short lessons that allow them to use their bodies as well as their minds. If your child is younger and full of energy, consider resources to help you with your fidgety learner.
Tweak Your Methods
If you have an artistic child, allow them to draw while you are teaching. To you, this may be distracting, but to them, it helps them focus. It allows them a way to utilize their energy. Another option is to let them respond to questions orally instead of on paper. Many children with ADHD find writing a challenge, and oral answers allow them to expedite the learning process. Even if a child with ADHD knows an answer, it is difficult for them to transfer that answer to paper.
If your child asks you numerous questions or the same question many times, don’t assume they are not paying attention. Chances are they are trying to comprehend what you said and they really may not remember. Asking again helps them to hear the material a second time, giving them another chance to remember what you said. When this happens be sure to look your child in the eye and make sure they are listening to what you say.
Let it Go
All those preconceived notions of what you thought a school should look like. The multiple worksheets, and lesson plans, and the mindset of public school will probably NOT work for your ADHD child. As a parent homeschooling a child with ADHD, you need to learn to let things go. For me, this has looked like ditching the worksheets and textbooks and adding in unit studies on a topic that interests my child. Ask yourself what ideas you need to let go to have a more successful homeschool for your child with ADHD.
Deciding to homeschool your ADHD child may have you feeling overwhelmed, but believe me you can do it! Hopefully, these tips can help!
Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.