Many parents find themselves unexpectedly homeschooling because their child received a diagnosis of having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. This diagnosis often comes after a child begins formal schooling, and they aren’t able to comply with the demands of a classroom setting.
As upsetting as this can be, it’s all too common. However, rather than having a child flounder in an ill-suited environment, you can homeschool your ADHD child successfully.
Children with ADHD often thrive in the personalized homeschool environment where parents are free to modify their schedules, curricula, and methods. However, when you’re a parent who just decided to homeschool your child with ADHD, the worries and questions can be overwhelming. How are you going to do this?
As their parent, you care about doing what is best for your child and are uniquely capable of giving them the learning environment they need to succeed. As you plan your school-year, here are five tips to help you adapt your lessons to individualize your ADHD child’s learning.
1. Do the Hard Tasks First
We often do better when we tackle the most difficult tasks early in our day when our energy is high, but this is especially true for children with ADHD.
If math is a struggle, it’s best to get that done and off their plate right away. Don’t wait until your child is already losing steam from the demands of the day.
If you get dreaded task checked off immediately, everything else will be a piece of cake.
2. Get Rid of the Busy Work
It’s no secret that school is full of banal work created to keep kids busy. However, as homeschoolers, we don’t have to fill up time with unnecessary tasks.
As the parent, you can adjust lesson plans and make the activities meaningful for your child. It’s okay to fill in fewer blanks or answer fewer questions if your child has shown understanding of the material.
3. ADHD Children Need to Move
Without a doubt, children with ADHD need to move. In many cases, they can’t help but move. So instead of fighting their natural impulse, work with it, and give them the room to move.
Let them sit on an exercise ball for lessons.
Give them a stress ball to squeeze when needing to pay attention.
Have them move as they learn vocabulary or multiplication
Additionally, when you remove the busy work, you have the time to let them run outside or jump on the trampoline, which will exert some of their endless energy.
4. Create and Keep a Regular Routine
Transitions can be difficult for children with ADHD, so it can be beneficial to create and keep a regular routine. Knowing what will happen and when often helps eliminate their frustration.
In a busy homeschooling household, this can be a difficult task, but it can go a long way towards maintaining a peaceful learning environment for your child. Pay attention and see when your child is at their most focused and create a routine that will help them thrive.
5. Eliminate the Physical and Mental Clutter
Everyone can be distracted by noise and clutter around them, but this is especially true of children with ADHD. The random sounds or stray pencils on the table can be enough to derail their concentration.
So when possible, keep the distractions to a minimum. Give them only the materials they need for a given assignment and consider playing soft music in the background to cover distracting sounds. A white noise machine may also help by providing a consistent noise level.
It’s easy for their attention to divert, so try to create an environment where the potential disturbances are minimized.
Homeschooling a Child with ADHD is Possible
Homeschooling a child with ADHD is not merely possible; it gives them the best environment to succeed and reach their potential.
So instead of fighting their natural tendencies, use these ideas to create a learning environment where they will feel competent and empowered.