Homeschooling the ADHD Child

I do not have all of the answers.

In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to say that I have even 25% of the answers.

We’re just starting this journey after all.

I’ve mentioned Paige and the challenges we have with her in the past. She’s 6 and ridiculously active. Constantly needing something to occupy her attention. And if what I want her to do doesn’t fall in her wheel-house, her attention span is approximately 30 seconds.

But here’s what I’ve found.

Paige can do work well above her years…IF SHE CAN VERBALIZE IT. So things like writing? Long math worksheets? Those just don’t work.

It will take her an hour to do 2 pages of work if I require her to write the answers herself. With me writing her answers? 5 minutes. We can get through 1/2 of one of her workbooks (about 25 pages) in about 30-45 minutes.

I know there are quite a few people that believe that what I do is cheating. I know that writing is necessary (and she does still do some writing, just not as much as perhaps some of her peers), but not at 6. 10? Definitely.

She loves reading, but has to read out loud. Math is easy and she picks it up quickly, but more than 5 or 6 problems and she’s drawing on her paper.

Work is rarely done at the table or her desk. A wiggle chair helps, but isn’t enough. So most of the time, she’s rolling around on the couch. Or running circles in the living room.

If the material we are working on isn’t challenging, forget about it. I actually picked up a 3rd grade workbook to ‘test’ her at Costco the other day and other than a few concepts we’ve never gone over, she was getting it. I have a feeling I’ll be ordering both 3rd and 4th grade when I order her Language Arts and History curriculum. Not exactly a cheap proposition, but we will use it anyway, so might as well (especially since it’s going to be 20% off and give me bonus points {join Homeschool Buyers’ Co-op!! It’s free!} on the 31st of this month).

With Paige, I feel like I have to be constantly ‘on’. I can’t just skate by as a teacher. I have to constantly figure out how to help her learn. How to make things more hands-on.

Honestly…it’s exhausting.

And then there’s the social aspect. The child knows no strangers. She doesn’t understand most boundaries. Things like hugging and telling someone you just met that you love them isn’t always the best idea. Teaching that she shouldn’t be doing that feels wrong. This world could use a little more love, you know? But people get the wrong impression and quite frankly, it’s scary how much trouble she could get in these days. Hands off, no touching…yadda yadda yadda.

So now I’m curious. If you’re reading this, how do you homeschool? How do you deal with a highly distracted child? How do you keep learning interesting?

I’m sure we will be changing many times throughout our journey. Sure that what we do this week likely won’t work next week. But it’s still better than many other alternatives.




One response

  1. We are very eclectic in our homeschooling; we do a little bit of everything. When my kiddos get distracted, we change up the scene for a few minutes; we play tag around the house, have a snack, or try a different approach to the same subject. We keep learning fun by making it as hands-on as we can; using projects, read-alongs, field trips, group activities, and more. There is never a shortage of ideas!

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