All parents struggle with educating their wiggly children. Almost every child interrupts, moves, knocks over items and breaks pencils, even when you've provided two "just in case." But parents of ADD and ADHD diagnosed children have an even greater challenge. Their children move, not as a behavioral issue, but due to a medical issue.
Since I have limited experience with a child with ADD (mine were simply wiggly, though uncontrollably sometimes), I reached out to our readers for advice on what worked for them as they educated their children with ADD or ADHD. Here are tips from Freely Educate readers who are educating a child with ADD or ADHD:
Let them MOVE!!! USE that motion to learn rote facts. Do sight word or basic math fact drills on the trampoline, one word/problem per jump. Swing and count, skip-count, etc. Help them focus by using techniques that use the entire body. We use a remote control car to drive over sight words and say them. Use a laser pointer to follow along in reading…. ~ Robin
Use techniques to busy their brains subliminally and that frees their focus to pay attention to what you want them to do. For example, use a ball to sit on or a one legged stool so the subconscious must balance rather than wiggle inappropriately. Worked on my son incredibly well! ~ Amy
Break up the lessons into 10-minute mini-lessons, with 10 minute breaks in between. Have the lessons be very specific and get to the point quickly. Some kids are more wiggly because they are actually bored with the material (because it is too easy for them), so assess if his/her work level should be raised higher. Figure out what subjects your child particularly loves and be sure to give them time each day on that [favorite] subject. My oldest, for example, really enjoyed comic books so I allowed those to be considered language arts (Reading) time. ~ Valarie
Be flexible. If it's just a bad day, try again tomorrow. Try to have fun. ~ Jennifer
My child loved lapbooks/notebooking along with using a yoga ball to sit on and bounce while working. ~ Heidi
Match your teaching style to their learning style. Treat them as you would want to be treated. Find their interests and base their studies around them. ~ Tara
Allow them to take frequent breaks, use technology that stimulates them, and adjust to them… not them to you. ~ Melissa
Be patient. ~ Angela
Figure out what your childs learning styles and interests are and then create curriculum accordingly. ~ Sherri
Educate yourself on ADD/ADHD by finding resources that believe it is a gift and not a curse. Use your child's strength's to overcome their weaknesses. Believe in your child and make sure they know they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Find curriculum that fits their learning style. ~ Margaret
Start with short times of learning. Build from there, teach them how to focus their minds and learn strategies that work for them. Be patient. ~ Christine
Do everything in small increments: 5 min breaks after 15 min of work. Start with 5 min per subject, then stretch it to 6, 7, etc, as long as the child's interest is held. Be FLEXIBLE. Remember that ADHD is NOT a behavioral problem. Give yourself pats on the back and mini-breaks, too. I've been doing this for 13 years, and I know YOU can do it, too! ~ Susan
Find their main interest, use that for a base for ALL subjects. ~ Karen
My best advice is whatever you do, whether unschooled or more structured, have CLEAR rules and never back away once you've said "No!" ~ Caroline
To learn more about ADD and ADHD, read about treatment options, find clinics, and get advice, visit ADD Referral.com
Would anyone else like to add encouragement or offer advice to homeschoolers who have a child with ADD or ADHD?
Thank you to our readers who responded to our question on our Facebook page!
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