Homeschooling a Child with ADHD
Homeschooling a child with ADHD can be challenging, but rewarding at the same time. After all, you can tailor their learning specifically to meet their needs and learning process. That’s why you need to know what sort of adaptations might prove helpful when it comes to meeting your child’s specific, unique needs with ADHD. Here are seven top tips on homeschooling a child with ADHD.
- Make use of a checklist or a chart. You want to use something that clearly and concisely explains and visually depicts what is expected to be completed that day, week, or month. You’ll likely want to use something that can be crossed off or flipped over when it’s finished so that the day’s progress can be clearly seen. Having this can be a lifesaver and prevent arguments or going off schedule.
- Be prepared to act as a scribe. If your child is struggling through something and having difficulties with getting their answers onto paper, then have them give you their answers orally and write them down your self. So long as they know the answers and explanations and clearly demonstrate this understanding, then it’s a perfectly fine option.
- Set small tasks. Set and make use of timers. Give them a time limit to get something important done and, in exchange, give them equal time to do something fun (i.e. 15 minutes of math, 15 minutes to play). Plan your day around alternating between work and fun.
- Throw in a little action. If you’re finding that your child is really struggling to focus on their studies or work, then it’s time to mix it up with a little action. Have them do something active, like running from one room to another, or get them something that they can use to be active – like a small trampoline. Any kind of movement can prove helpful. It can prevent your child from wiggling and shifting around restlessly, gets their blood pumping, and allows them to refocus on their work.
- Get ready to be hands on. Sometimes, workbooks and homework pages aren’t going to make the cut. If you find that these approaches aren’t working for your child, then it’s time to try something different. Not every curriculum or learning style is going to work for a child with ADHD, so being adaptive is key. Often, you’ll find that tactile and hands-on approaches work best. See if it’s possible for you to adapt lessons to meet your child’s needs and learning style.
- Divide and conquer. For those who are homeschooling multiple children, you might find that it works best to keep them apart. Give each child their own space within which they can get their work done. This allows you to better dedicate time to your child who has special needs instead of relegating them to group work with their siblings, which might not work out well for anyone! Often, a child with ADHD needs someone to help with keeping them on task and focus on what they need to get done.
- Remember to be gracious. It’s important that you reward the positive steps and not the negative ones. Encourage them and do your best to remain positive, even when there are difficulties. What you need to focus on is being gracious and forgiving: to both yourself and your child. It can be tiring and draining to teach a child with ADHD. Sometimes, both of you will need a break, and that’s okay.
For those who need extra support with homeschool, The Centre for Learning@HOME has the resources, staff, and guidance to help you. If you’re finding yourself or your child struggling, then please reach out. We have programs and staff on hand to offer you the support, guidance, and resources that you need to succeed. Call us at (403) 938-4119 or at our toll-free number 1-800-659-1945 to learn more about our programs or if you have any questions or concerns.