Conventional schooling, at first glance, seems to be a bad idea for a child struggling with ADHD – long periods in class; no time allotted to “let loose;” homework that doesn’t accommodate to the child’s learning style; a few break times; long hours of just sitting down; and without much reprieves. Most of the time, that first glance would be correct. “Some parents augment their teaching with online learning; others work collaboratively with other parents and community groups to create educational, social, and extracurricular activities for their kids,” said Dona Matthews Ph.D. The question that beleaguers the parents the most, in regards to homeschooling, is “How do I cater to my ADHD child or children while providing the quality of an actual school?”
Without further ado, let’s break down the eight steps to effectively teach kids with ADHD at home.
Incorporate Your Child’s Interests.
It may be a cliché piece of advice seen almost every other post relating to homeschooling, but this still holds. Knowing is half the battle, as one movie would quote. Knowing what his interests are is the first crucial step to a harmonious teaching relationship. “By becoming aware of my feelings and expectations for my child, I was able to understand and question my belief system about what it means to be a good parent and what I really wanted for my child,” – Dan Peters Ph.D.
Keep It Short.
Short lessons, in 10-15 minute periods, will help capture the child’s attention more than a typical class session of say, 45 minutes to an hour. The child will find the long lesson boring – we all know that. Always remember the KISS code: Keep It Short and Simple, especially if you’re working with an ADHD child at home.
Incorporate Motion And Practical Lessons.
Now that your child is free from the textbook-reliant educational system to maximize the advantage you present. Remember, children best learn from example. If you “show,” they will learn. So, express lessons in action, and he will “get” it.
Follow The Cues.
Watch for potential warning signs. Frustration over the simplest of things may present a problem, which can lead to a meltdown left unchecked, which is not helpful for the process.
Let Them Fidget.
And only if it helps. Another advantage over a traditional school is that you can allow them to do something with their hands if it helps them relax and listen better. Of course, you would have to watch out if he is too engrossed to listen to you.
Give Them A Break.
On two, or three, depending on the situation on hand, you need to give your child a break. Another advantage over a traditional school is that you don’t need to follow a schedule, and may give your child breaks as long, or short, and as many as needed. And for sure, you will need this break too.
Have A Flexible Structure.
Have a general schedule and order of everything you will teach, but adaptable enough to cater to the child’s needs. The last thing you’d want is a cranky child who was forced to wake up for an early class.
Let The Child Unschool.
Once you feel you’re comfortable with letting the child go on his own, do not hesitate to do so. This may be just the solution for a curious, energetic, and fast-paced child, who loves learning things on his own. According to psychologist Peter Gray, Ph.D, “The children’s behavior, moods, and learning generally improved when they stopped conventional schooling, not because their ADHD characteristics vanished but because they were now in a situation where they could learn to deal with those characteristics.”
In conclusion, there is no one perfect way to deal with ADHD, but these tips may come in handy and may answer any questions you may have had. Never lose focus on the objective of why are you doing this.