While it might not be the easiest to be homeschooling a child with ADHD, it can be a rewarding thing as it helps to build confidence, can help build skills, and can take off some pressure of the classroom environment.
The traditional approach of school can be frustrating for children with ADHD. The noisy classroom, teacher standing at the front of the room, being assigned to a desk and expected to stay there. For a number of students with ADHD they can easily get bored and then get in trouble. Or they fidget and distract others. It is not that they mean to. They are just wired differently and sitting at a desk is not helpful.
It can feel scary to homeschool a child with an ADHD diagnosis. Their learning needs are often different from those of a neurotypical child. But you don’t need to worry, as homeschooling gives you the opportunity to individualize your child’s education in order to meet their specific needs.
HOW CAN YOU SUCCESSFULLY HOMESCHOOL YOUR ADHD CHILD?
Here are some tips for homeschooling an ADHD child.
The Do List:
- Learn more about ADHD and how your child’s brain works. Talk about it with your child in age appropriate ways so they can understand themselves better.
- Be organized. One thing that can help a child with ADHD is having things organized, color coded, and clutter-free.
- Include your child in planning their education. Find out what they want to learn, what things they want to do, how they like to learn. If you involve them in the process then you might get less pushback
- Have a rhythm and flow rather than a set schedule. (check vlog on rhythm and flow) This allows them to work at their own pace without the stress of timers and alarms, or feeling the stress to be completed at a certain time.
- Write out a daily checklist. This lets your child with ADHD what is expected of them for the day. Break it down into bite size chunks and keep it simple. Having something you can check off is a great way to see what has been completed and what needs to be done.
- MOVE! Allow for movement. Whenever and wherever. Have movement breaks. Get yourself a small trampoline to keep indoors to have quick jump breaks. Maybe do some yoga or even just go for a walk. Let your child walk about while listening to stories or reciting information.
- Have a variety of seating arrangements. Exercise balls are excellent for sitting on rather than chairs. Sit on the floor, on cushions, in a hammock. Whatever takes your fancy. There are also kick bands for chairs to allow them to move their feet.
Don’t forget learning styles!
- Incorporate your child’s learning style into the curriculum. Explore different curriculum options. Charlotte Mason and Unschooling might be two valid options for you. Incorporate computers and online curriculum as it can often allow them to move at their own pace, and repeat as necessary (without you having to reteach).
The Don’t List:
- Do not make your homeschool look like a traditional school. Let go of the schedule. Don’t make all lessons be at desks.
- Do not feel that you have to like a classroom teacher. You are not. Try to be more like a facilitator – guiding them through the checklist for the day. Allow yourself to be more of the parent than the teacher. Consistency is key and you are parent first.
- Don’t forget to get support for yourself too.
It really is a wonderful opportunity to be able to be homeschooling your child with ADHD. The benefits far outweigh some of the frustrations and personality clashes you may have.
Look after yourself and also take the time to enjoy schooling your child. Reach out for help when you need it as you are not on your own.