Homeschooling ADD or ADHD

Homeschooling ADD and ADHD is possible. Even though my children have not ended up on the refrigerator or any other place unusual they have at times been distracted. I had to learn how to keep their attention.

What is ADD or ADHD?

Add stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. The symptoms of ADD are:

  • Distractible: they are bothered by other people whispering, background noise such as the motor of the refrigerator.
  • Lacks a sense of time: they tend to procrastinate
  • Inattention: daydream and may not know what was being discussed
  • Hyperactivity: can't sit still and talk excessively
  • Impulsivity: has difficulty taking turns and interrupts others

On a positive note many ADD ADHD individuals are creative. They also have the ability to hyper focus. They can sit for hours and work on something that interests them.

Tips for homeschooling ADD

My boys did not like to sit still when I was teaching. I would let them stand quietly while I was teaching. I would not let them interrupt me until I was done talking. I tried to talk for a small amount of time. In the beginning I would read a paragraph or explain one math problem before I would ask for comments. I would try to keep their comments to the subject at hand. If they had another comment I would try and have them wait until they started the assignment.

I also tried to keep our learning activities to 10 or 15 minutes. Then we would do something else. I also tried to keep our breaks to no more the 20 minutes. If I didn't limit break time we would not get anything done. If my children were interested in the assignment we would work longer the 15 minutes. During break time my children could walk around, go outside or have a small snack.

Another idea for homeschooling ADD children is to let them chose what they want to learn about. Ask your child what he is interested in. You can find unit studies on almost any subject. A unit study integrates several different subjects together. Language Arts, History, and/or Science can be taught together. Math is the only subject that is not easily integrated because math needs to be taught in a systematic way.

When my boys were young they liked dinosaurs. We created a lot of learning activities that dealt with dinosaurs. They enjoyed the activities and were willing to learn.

Some children who have ADD or ADHD are very creative. Let your child do a hands-on project about what they are learning. Most children like to do artwork or science experiments.

Some children can tell exciting stories but have difficulty putting words to paper. Your child could dictate the story to you. Then your child could illustrate the story.

If your child is a reluctant reader you can read to him. Yes, he should learn to read, but you can read to him his science or history.

When you do require your child to read or practice his math facts let him do it his way. Allow your child to read standing up or on a swing. For math let him practices his facts doing jumping jacks.

During times that your child needs to be quiet and sit still give him something to fidget with. Some children do well with squishy balls. Other children can keep quiet by chewing gum.

Also allow your child to draw when you are reading to him. Remember that adults take notes during lectures. Just make sure that your child is listening to you.

Yes, homeschooling ADD and ADHD can be done. Remember to take frequent breaks and let your child move when he has too.

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