He can’t focus. He cannot sit still. He cannot stop clapping and shouting and dancing around. How can I homeschool like that?
ADHD, sensory and focus issues, please make it pretty hard to do school at home sometimes don’t they?
4 super sensitive and very introverted mean there are days but I think I might lose my mind and we have only just begun.
Now I have a background in psychology in child development so I like to think I have a pretty good handle on things but I have to admit that I am constantly on my toes. We need to actively make a habit of addressing and training the attention and focus.
We have done a lot of unschooling. I have done a lot of deschooling myself. If you’re not familiar with this consider taking the time to do so. As we deschool ourselves and our children we can get a fresh perspective. We can also unlearn those things we learned from the school, opening us up to new approaches.
My oldest is not a morning person so we don’t do a lot of work early in the morning. I think it’s important for us to understand when is our child’s best time. And then we can plan our day based upon that. I am reminded of the value of rhythm in the homeschool. A good rhythm for as often involves music and drawing or building. Sometimes it’s singing and dancing around the house.
We focus on style rather than curriculum in our home too. When we first started we focused on curriculum and found that it was impossible to find one thing that really worked for us. Currently I use a hodgepodge of things based upon where my sons interests lie as well as what we need to focus on.
Through the years that we have done this I have to say for these kinds of kids the best learning, I have salad, is a style that is hands-on. One that is interest based and project focused. I think of unit studies and project-based activities, even some child loves learning. Delight directed learning also comes to mind. These are all ways to encourage our children in a gentle and relaxed environment, to learn.
As for academics, we definitely stress the value of reading and writing and mathematics. But we tend to go a bit slower. We tend to be a little more laid back when it comes to these things. We do a lot of cooking and baking, we like to build, woodworking and wood carving. My boys love building with Legos and K’nex and Snap Circuits so we keep as much of this as we can handy about the house. And the ways you can use these things for learning are just endless.
I encourage a lot of play time too. Perhaps while we are listening to an audiobook, they can build or draw or write or play with play-doh. Sometimes my kids even use the time that I am reading to them for all kinds of fun science experiments.
Of course we have to be aware of where our children are 2. There are days that I can tell my son is so very focused and well I have things I want to see him do, I know that now is not the time. When he’s engaged, when his attention and focus is so strongly held by something, I want to allow that to continue to attend if at all possible. This means that some days I have to accept the fact that my plans need to be moved to a different day. Off and when it does happen though I cannot say that I regret it.
I read in an article by Peter Gray that ” ADHD diagnosed kids seem to do especially well when they are allowed to take charge of their own education” in his article “Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling.”
I have to agree! So far in my experience I have found that when I am willing to relax a bit, make some changes and support the interest as we are led to them and through them, we really can homeschool no matter what.