Parenting ADHD Behaviors requires a different way of thinking.
When you tell your child NOT to do something, does he turn right around and do it?
Do you feel like your child never listens and does the very things you tell him not to?
If your child has ADHD, he probably DOES exactly what you tell him not to do!! EXASPERATING, isn’t it?!!
SO, how do you get your child to behave and do what you say?
Parenting ADHD Behaviors can be a lot easier than you think!
There are two aspects of ADHD that play into your child’s tendency to do what you tell him NOT to do and to act as if you never said a word.
The first factor is impulsivity, defined as “behavior characterized by little or no forethought.” It is a reaction. Thus, when your child has ADHD, and the main characteristic of ADHD is impulsivity, you actually tell your child to do something by telling him not to do it!
It’s like this: “Johnny, stop picking on your brother!”
The main focus of the command is “picking on your brother,” so your impulsive child is going to do exactly what you said.
What to Say When Parenting ADHD Behaviors
To help your child respond better, putting disciplinary requests in terms of your desired behavior instead of a “don’t do” behavior will help your child comply more easily. In the above example, you could say, “Johnny, please help your brother find the most important fact in that lesson.”
Immediately, and ideally, Johnny refocuses his attention on the requested behavior and begins helping his brother with the lesson. You and I both know this isn’t going to work perfectly every time, but it will work much more often than telling your child NOT to do something.
The second factor in Parenting ADHD Behaviors is your child’s direct attention.
You must be certain you HAVE your child’s attention when you are speaking. IF you don’t, it will be like whatever you said went in one ear and out the other. Without attention, whatever you say will never have entered your child’s awareness at all.
A good way to insure you have your child’s attention is to say, “repeat after me..” or “tell me what I just said.” If your child can’t tell you, then tell him again and ask him to repeat again.
For example, “Johnny, help your brother find an important fact in his lesson. Johnny, what do I need you to do?”
Hopefully, Johnny can say, “I need to help Joey find an important fact in his lesson.”
Again, this may not work perfectly every time, but it will help you know your child has heard you.
Too many times I see parents telling a child with ADHD something. It is quite obvious the child’s mind is otherwise occupied with something he’s observing, doing, or listening to.
When parenting ADHD behaviors, you must be sure your child actually heard you. You must make sure you are talking with your child, and not talking at your child. If you use the direction-response confirmation method, then if defiance occurs, you can better gauge the consequences.
In summary, Parenting ADHD Behaviors works better when you are sure your child heard what you said and you phrase your requests in terms of desired behaviors. Parenting ADHD Behaviors can be accomplished when you learn effective ways to deal with your child’s specific disability. 😉
Got a child who HATES reading or a reluctant reader who needs to practice reading skills?
Cool Reading Games can engage your child in learning, especially your child is a reluctant reader or has dyslexia.
If your child has ADHD, dyslexia, or another learning disability, using these cool reading games will engage your child in learning. The more your child has exposure to cool reading games, the more the games will help build your child’s reading skills.
Below, I have shared several online cool reading games. The programs are listed in three sections:
Be aware, many of the free and paid reading games designed for typical learners may not check to see whether your child has mastered each reading skill before moving forward in game play. Therefore, when using these cool reading games, you’ll want to check out the features to see if the program moves forward with reading skill mastery. You may be fine using the program, but it helps to be aware of the forward progress in the program.
Have your child practice with one of these cool reading games for at least 20-30 minutes per day. Tending towards 30 minutes will bring the most meaningful benefit. If you break your child’s practice into two 15 minute segments, that would be ideal. That’s because research shows a child tends to remember the first thing and last thing taught in a lesson.
Also, using one of these cool reading games as a bedtime activity will help your child learn more faster. Research shows whatever you do right before bed continues to be processed by your brain. Therefore, using one of the cool reading games as a bedtime activity could seem like fun for your child, but his brain will continue processing the reading. That is a learning bonus for YOU because your child will learn to read faster!
Free Reading Games for Kids: Helpful for kids with dyslexia
These cool reading games are good for anyone who is not homeschooling. These particular reading games are good if you don’t need any kind of progress reporting. These free reading games are good for regular reading practice.
Starfall Reading – A free public service program to teach children to read with phonics. Starfall’s systematic approach uses phonics in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice to help children learn to read.
Reading is Fundamental Reading Planet Game Station – Fun reading games designed to enhance reading skills more at the word-based level than at the phonemic awareness level. In other words, a child would build reading skills here after the basic decoding skills are in place.
PBSKids’ Reading Games – Basic reading skills with All KINDS of games. However these cool reading games aren’t organized in any particular order. It’s a great place to visit just to play around.
Phonics Vowels – This is an app that focuses on teaching vowel sounds and vowel combinations. Given that vowels are core elements of every word, working on vowel mastery can help any child develop better reading skills.
Paid Online Reading Programs for Teaching Children with Dyslexia:
If your child has a reading disability, you’d probably be better off paying for a program designed to insure concept mastery. These programs track your child’s progress as he progresses through the program. These programs are similar to many cool reading games. However, they follow a specific sequence of learning for kids with dyslexia.
Fast ForWord via Gemm Learning – Fast ForWord is a great program for any child that has significant Phonemic Awareness difficulties accompanying difficulty with reading. The Fast ForWord program is usually provided through a provider who oversees your child’s use of the programming. Gemm Learning company has an option that allows your child to use the program on your computer at home. Gemm then provides oversight and consultation. Fast ForWord is an excellent and proven program.
Nessy – is truly one of the cool reading games that is interactive. Kids love it! It’s a great step-by-step program. Your child has to follow the progression of steps that take him through a logical progression of learning. The information on their Evidence of Results page speaks mostly of the proven nature of Orton-Gillingham Methods, structured multi-sensory phonics teaching, as well as how much kids LIKE the program. There is study data for Nessy that used before and after testing. The testing showed “students on average made a gain of 1 year after 18 weeks of using Nessy Reading,” however the study appears to have been conducted with typical kids. Therefore, the program’s effectiveness specifically for kids with significant issues with dyslexia is not established yet through the study data they cite. BUT, if your child LOVES the program and uses it on a daily basis, it is likely to provide reading skill benefits. The program is sequential and explicit in teaching reading and spelling skills. It is based upon Orton-Gillingham methods. Nessy could be a cool reading games choice for your child.
Starfall Kindergarten Reading and Language Arts Curriculum – This program is great. Just be aware it is targeted at Kindergarten level students. It’s great for a child who requires remediation at the lowest reading skill levels. However, it is likely to be too “babyish” if your child is third grade or beyond. Therefore, if you know your very young child is likely to have dyslexia, start from beginning using a program like Starfall’s Kindergarten program. Then graduate to cool reading games targeted towards older students when needed.
Computer-Based Reading Programs for Learners with Reading Disabilities or Dyslexia:
Language Tune-Up Kit (LTK) – The Language Tune-Up Kit is based upon the proven Orton-Gillingham methodology. It provides comprehensive reading instruction beginning with sound-symbol correlations. It includes sound blending, syllables, sight words, etc. The Language Tune-Up Kit is a comprehensive reading practice program designed specifically to help children with true dyslexia learn the essential elements of reading skill.
Earobics – This is the program we used with my sons for their foundational reading skills. Earobics is a dynamic interactive program that includes cool reading games. It is great for developing early reading skills. It’s great for establishing initial phonemic awareness. This is not a comprehensive reading program though–it is designed for auditory-phonemic training more so than as a reading solution. If your child has speech-language issues or has difficulty properly hearing or speaking sound/syllables in words, then Earobics is a good place to begin. Your child must have proper phonemic awareness in order to develop reading skills. The old edition of Earobics for older students is available through Christianbook.com. (Earobics is not a “Christian” program. It’s just offered for sale through them). Be sure to pay attention to compatibility with your computer BEFORE purchasing. The new edition is designed for younger kids. It is available through Houghton-Mifflin.
Lexia Reading At Home – This is one of the programs we used for reading remediation in our homeschooling. My boys worked through the Lexia program in its entirety, twice! HOWEVER, you should know this product has been updated for common core. It now includes timed practice elements. I’ve had several parents report to me their child is reduced to tears because he/she can’t get past the speed-based drills (they are for reading fluency). There is a workaround. You can email Lexia to get help bypassing the speed drills. Just be aware, if your child has a slow neurological processing speed, this may not be the best program choice for your child. That’s just a heads-up for you. 😉
** The Lexia Reading Core 5 program is designed for students in preschool through 5th grade. The “Lexia games for kids sometimes seem like play, but they’re learning too! Older students will use the Strategies” program. Be sure you select the proper program so the lexia games will be appropriate for your child. To purchase a one year subscription, click visit Lexia Reading At Home online (NOT an affiliate link).
Online, Cool Reading Games for Practice by Typical Learners:
These programs usually include progress tracking. If you’re homeschooling, tracking can be helpful if you need documentation of your child’s program or progress for your homeschool portfolio. For anyone who is not homeschooling, the documentation can be important when setting IEP goals with your child’s school.
Kabongo – This is an interactive, online, reading skills program. They have free “try it” options with cool reading games you can play to see if you like the program. As a way to engage an active audio-visual learner in reading practice, this is a great site for keeping kids engaged. Your child won’t really feel like he is studying reading!
Reading Egg is growing in popularity. It is being used in schools as a “Response to Intervention” platform. The program is not specifically designed as an Orton-Gillingham reading program for children with learning disabilities in reading or dyslexia. However, it is an engaging, interactive, online set of cool reading games you can use to get your kids practicing reading. Whether or not your child makes adequate progress with the program will likely depend upon the type and severity of your child’s learning disability.
Word Magic – this isn’t “online,” but it is an app that can be used anytime, anywhere. It is a great program. Word Magic is ideal for kids between the ages 3 to 6. However, I think these cool reading games would appeal to children as old as 9-11 depending upon the child. “It is an excellent application for kids to have fun with words and their spellings. Word Magic is very ideal for parents since it engages kids while driving, in the airport or while waiting in the restaurants.” It’s a very inexpensive app well worth having available for your child’s reading and spelling practice.
General Curriculum Options for Poor Readers:
The programs listed below are programs that aren’t cool reading games. These are general learning programs for kids who struggle with reading. The programs can be used to help your child learn even though he can’t yet read (very well). The programs have captions. The captions can help your child understand reading skills a bit better. (It keeps you from having to read everything aloud to your child.)
Odysseyware from Global Student Network (GSN) As a first choice, I’d HIGHLY recommend Odysseyware. This learning platform includes teaching videos. There is also audio narration of the pages. It also has a highlighted text-to-speech ability. The text-to-speech reader emphasizes (bolds and enlarges) each word as it is read. Having the animated highlighting lets your child follow along with the reading. The highlighting helps a child who is developing reading skills.
The variety within the Odysseyware lessons includes audio, visual, and the highlighted text . These combined modes of learning create a varied learning environment. The audio-visual nature of the program is likely to hold the attention of kids with ADHD better than standard curricula too. You can request a demo of the Odysseyware. If you like it, you can buy a one-year subscription that will provide your child with unlimited access to their courses. If your child finishes one course, he can just move on to the next!
I hope these options will help you find a great practice program for your child. When our kids dislike reading, anything we can do to engage them is worthwhile!
You CAN teach your child to be organized through the use of these three Organization Tips and five Organization Ideas.
If your child is chronically disorganized, it can be a real challenge for your child to be successful in school.
Organizational skills are not typically taught in school, so your child will benefit if you step in to help with these organization tips.
Three Essential Organization Tips for Organized Kids:
The main skills you need to teach your child to help him become more organized include –
Organization Tip #1: Use established routines for every day practices to build habits.
For example, your child needs to use the same process each day to gather his books, assignments, and other items for his school day at the beginning and ending of each school day. Teaching your child a regimented routine for the start and end of his school day will build in a habit of organization.
Organization Tip #2: Use checklists to complete routine tasks.
You’ll have to help your child mindfully engage with the checklist by verbally coaching him through the list each day until using the checklist becomes a habit. While this may seem like the same task as establishing a routine, it is a bit different. Using the checklist(s) should become part of your child’s routine as established in #1 above.
Organization Tip #3: Teach Your Child Assignment Segmenting and Scheduling.
A child with organizational difficulties usually lacks a natural ability to see how to divide big assignments into smaller chunks. Again, you will need to work directly with your child, verbally coaching him through the division of assignments into smaller steps. You’ll need to help him write down each step on a schedule so he’ll be able to make progress each day without waiting until the last moment.
Five Organization Ideas or Tools for Helping Your Child Learn Organization Skills
2) Daily Academic Planner – Your child will need help learning how to divide up large assignments among the days from the date given through the due date.
Children with organizational and planning difficulties seldom know how to break a big task up into smaller subtasks. You will have to help your child with this process repeatedly until he learns to do it himself.
You can use an academic planner to schedule work and to note assignment due dates. Teaching my boys how to segment big assignments into smaller steps has helped them immensely throughout high school, especially with their dual enrollment courses.
3) Velcro Binders – If your child is like mine, his notebook comes home as a scattered jumble of papers stashed loosely in his bookbag. Papers fall out of an ordinary notebook and easily get damaged or lost.
We found notebooks with zippered or velcroed closures help the papers make the journey between home and school without getting lost. Additionally, letting each of my boys pick out a “cool” binder at the beginning of the school year helped with their usage compliance.
4) Pocket Page Protectors – These are great for your child’s checklists for his different routines. Having a pocket protector keeps the paper nice without tearing the holes and getting messed up.
The plastic surface allows your child to use a dry erase marker to check off completed items, then the surface can be wiped clean for the next day’s use. When a page protector reaches a point where it needs to be replaced, you can often swap it for a new protector and use the same checklist paper. If you use a paper checklist without a page protector, you will likely have to make a new copy of the checklist frequently.
5) Stackable Drawers or Bins – Label each drawer with a different subject or by “Homework To Be Done,” “Assignments in Progress” and “Homework Finished.” Having the stack of drawers near your child’s homework spot lets him come home, put his homework papers in the “To Be Done” drawer, then move it to the other drawers when he completes the assignment. When he’s done, he can grab the stack of completed papers and put them in his velcro binder. Having the intermediate drawer helps for assignments that take multiple days to finish.
When we began homeschooling, we used the Sterilite ClearView stackable drawers. We chose to buy two sets of three and stack them for a six-drawer stack. We then labeled each drawer with the individual subjects. Each of my sons had a stack of six drawers next to his desk.
It might interest you to know that we were able to successfully teach our boys with these organizational tips and by teaching them planning skills. This is a feat we are particularly proud of since my youngest was deemed “The Human Tornado” when he was young. He was anything but organized, but consistent teaching over multiple years enabled him to become organized throughout his teen years. Now he’s more organized than I am!! Maybe I need someone to walk me through organization each day.
I’d say organizational skills are among the most difficult to establish when a child is highly disorganized. Learning to use routines, checklists, and breaking big tasks into small, manageable steps requires direct instruction for months or years. Good organization ability is not a skill that is learned overnight.
That said, once a child learns to rely upon routine, checklists, and planning of his assignments, he will reach a point where he incorporates these tools and practices into his everyday life management. The skills are well worth teaching both for your child’s schooling and for his long-term success in life.
Do you find your self screaming at your learning abled kid? Are you frequently frustrated, stressed out, or at your wits end?
I *know* I was there!!
So what did I do? I developed better parenting skills.
How Do You Develop GOOD Parenting Skills?
Unfortunately, we are not born knowing how to parent our learning abled kids, and they don’t come with instruction manuals. Our learning abled kids suffer enough with their own internal and educational frustrations, so no parent wants to add to her child’s feelings of frustration or low self-esteem.
Nevertheless, there are a significant number of parenting frustrations to be dealt with, particularly once your child enters school and has homework to complete in the evening.
Learning to parent your learning abled kid effectively using good parenting skills will go a long way in improving your child’s experiences growing up and it will make your household a safe haven for your child. Learning good parenting skills could save your child’s heart, mind, and self-esteem, and help you have eternally great family relationships. Nothing was more worthwhile in my own understanding of my child’s needs than learning how to effectively parent my boys with good parenting skills.
Personally, I didn’t know how to parent well, whether my guys were learning abled kids or not! The parenting models I had were the old-fashioned yelling and screaming, spanking and no dinner approaches. If you use them, how well are those parenting skills working for you?
I didn’t spank or withhold food, but I did yell and scream, and that didn’t work well for me at ALL. I found myself loathing myself for my yelling, for my lack of patience, and for feeling at my wits end not knowing what to do to motivate and inspire my young, energetic, but distracted boys.
I began looking for BETTER parenting skills. My biggest questions were, “What are good parenting skills?” and “How do I develop them?” THANKFULLY, I became a much better parent and quit my screaming and yelling ways while my boys were still young (they don’t even remember–WHEW!). We have great relationships with each other and for that, I am truly blessed among moms.
Reading any one of these books will help you. Reading all of these books and applying what you learn will shape you into an awesome parent for the sake of your Learning Abled Kid(s). I read them when my boys were very young, when my oldest was just starting school, and I became a changed parent!
You will be a better parent by the end of the month if you read these books and apply what you learn. I’m so thankful I did, and I hope telling on myself and sharing these books with you will help you cope well with your learning abled kid(s). If you don’t have time to read any good parenting skills books right now, here are some quick tips to get you started:
Quick Tips on Good Parenting Skills
Don’t scream and yell at your child,
Don’t let siblings call each other belittling names,
Don’t let siblings tease each other about disabilities,
Don’t assume you know your child’s motivation levels (never accuse him of being lazy or not trying hard enough with his school work – he may have done his best, hardest work and what you see is what you got),
Be as understanding as you possibly can (realize your child wants your understanding, love, and approval–always);
Be generous with your praise, and very reserved with your criticism,
Always tackle problems together (“we’ll figure this out”) rather than expecting your child to come up with a solution (“you need to be more organized” ~ it may be true, but your child needs step-by-step teaching on how to be more organized, how to study, etc. ~ He won’t magically know these things).
Be your child’s advocate in front of all others including extended family, your child’s friends, your friends, at your child’s school, and out in the community. Your child needs someone to stand up for him.
Practice patience, regularly, painfully, in any way you can, and
Tell your child you love him frequently–no ifs or buts.. unconditionally.
That’s just a brief list of some basics. I’m sure I’ve left some important tips off, and all of the above is more easily said than done, so reading some good parenting skills books will help improve your parenting abilities better than my list!
HUGS!!! From one Learning Abled Kids’ momma to another, love yourself like I love ya. 😉 ~ And, if these tips or the listed books help you, or you have other good parenting skills tips or resources to share, Please SHARE! Check out the comment section below to see what others have to share! We can all use all of the help we can get.
This is an audio interview with Jenny. Jenny began homeschooling her son, who has learning disabilities and anxiety, when he was in elementary school. Public school had proven to be a poor fit.
Feel free to listen to the audio (be sure your speakers are on), read the transcript, or do both. I hope this story about homeschooling to overcome Anxiety & Learning Disabilities is inspiring to you!
Overcoming Anxiety & Learning Disabilities with Homeschooling Transcript:
Sandy: Hi everybody, This is Sandy cook with Learning Abled Kids, and today I’m chatting with Jenny Crowe. She’s a veteran homeschooling mom and a member of the learning abled kids community.
Jenny was a social worker for 12 years and she has homeschooled her son for 10 years. He has just graduated from high school and started college this month. So let’s all welcome Jenny. HI Jenny!
Sandy: HI! I want to thank you first for your willingness to do this interview to help other moms see that regular people homeschool.
Jenny: You’re welcome.
Sandy: Let’s get started then. First question: have you homeschooled from the beginning?
Jenny: No. Our son went to public school until he was diagnosed with dyslexia and they tried several things that did not work for him. And he really needed one-on-one instruction but they weren’t able to provide that either. So, I started doing it [homeschooling] part-time when he was in third grade.
Sandy: Right. So what made you end up deciding to homeschool?
Reasons for Homeschooling to Overcome Anxiety & Learning Disabilities
Jenny: Well, for one, they were not teaching to his learning style. He was a visual learner and they were doing all kinds of different things with him. So it was really difficult. They were doing “Reading Recovery” with him, which does not work. At that time I didn’t know that it does not work very well for teaching somebody with dyslexia to learn how to read.
Sandy: Right. They tried that program with my son also.
Jenny: Oh did they? It was awful. Oh it was awful. He was in first grade and and he would hang his head down and he’d say he didn’t want to go. And the teacher would be so upset, and yeah, it was terrible. So I tried pulling them out. But the teacher convinced me that we needed to give it one more try, and so we did. But it never did any good. And then I worked at the school and my husband was volunteering there. We could see that he was having problems knowing what to do when. And he was some major problems with bullying. So that’s when we decided to homeschool.
Sandy: Right. So were the bullying issues or the educational issues the primary reason you decided to start homeschooling?
Jenny: I think the educational issues were the primary reason.
Jenny: I mean he was also gifted, so he was not learning at the rate that he could be. In fact he was behind most of the other kids because they were going too fast and he couldn’t keep up.
Sandy: Right, I understand that completely. When you started homeschooling, did you have any special training? I understand you were a social worker, but I don’t know if that includes any training educationally.
Training to Overcome Anxiety & Learning Disabilities
Jenny: No. The only teaching experience I had was being a Sunday school teacher. That’s was it.
Sandy: Right. So before you started did you feel qualified to teach your son?
Jenny: Um, no. I really didn’t. That’s why I had believed the “Reading Recovery” teacher. Because I thought, “Well, she knows and I don’t, so it must be something that’s going to work for him.” But I got to the point where they weren’t giving individualized attention. Although they were trying, but they were so busy they didn’t have time.
I was having to help him every day after school anyway, going over everything they had gone over again. And, you know, the teacher would call me all the time for different things. You know his needs, or what did I think about that, or he was having a meltdown or whatever.
So part of the beauty of homeschooling is we didn’t have any more of that. We were at home and I could teach him in the way that he learns. And I could teach him what I wanted to teach him, what I felt was important. And so that made a big difference.
Sandy: Right. That sounds great. When you started homeschooling did you face many struggles, and if so what kind did you face?
Jenny: I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?
Sandy: when you started homeschooling did you have any struggles teaching your son, and if so what kinds of problems did you encounter?
Problems Homeschooling for Anxiety & Learning Disabilities
Jenny: Well, once we figured out what his learning style is I tried to present things visually. And I looked for curriculum that was very visual and hands-on. That was really helpful. He would get frustrated very quickly. And so that was a problem, but at home we could take breaks and he could move around. He could bounce on his ball, he could bounce on the trampoline. So all that helped him be able to concentrate better and helped him retain it better. Because we had all those extra things that we could do to break it up and to just to make it more of a fun experience rather than sitting in a classroom listening.
Sandy: I understand that. So what were some of the main benefits you experienced in homeschooling?
Benefits for Homeschooling to Overcome Anxiety & Learning Disabilities
Jenny: Wow. There was a lot. I could take field trips with him whenever we wanted to. Basically–In a subject he was interested in rather than something he wasn’t interested in. I could play to his strengths and work that way. I could help him with stress. In public school he started putting glue on his hands, and letting it dry and peeling it off as a stress reliever. And he would do things like that because he was so stressed.
And so, you know, when you’re at home you can lay on the floor and homeschool, or you can ride your bike around the block and then come back and do some more school. Or you can jump from letter to letter on the floor when you’re learning how to spell. I mean there’s just all kinds of varieties and ways that you can do it. I could teach him about being a follower of Jesus. We could even go into subjects that the school didn’t provide because we were just free of all of that kind of stuff. We didn’t have the restrictions that the government puts on and he could work outside. There was just a lot of freedom in it.
Sandy: We found that to and I really like that about homeschooling.
Jenny: Me too.
Sandy: So, let me ask you what your son is doing now and what kind of educational outcomes you experienced?
Outcomes in Overcoming Anxiety & Learning Disabilities
Jenny: Well, he’s been in school for almost 2 weeks. He’s going to the local college here. And he’s taking eight hours, which I had to persuade him because he was going to go full-time. But he thanked me the other day because if it takes you a while to process things, then you need more time. And so that gives him more time to study and more time to really learn the information. And so far he says he likes it, so I’m just really thrilled that he has accommodations. He went to the teachers and asked for accommodations so that he can take a bit little more time. And they’ve been great with him so far.
Sandy: Excellent. So is he registered officially with the college for learning disability support?
Jenny: Yes. We went in the disability office and talked to the lady there. And she gave him a letter. After I gave her documentation she gave him a letter to take to the teachers and they’d sign off. And then they would provide whatever, whatever he had documentation for.
Sandy: Excellent. So is there anything else you really feel like you would like to share with people who are thinking about homeschooling, in regard to homeschooling a child with special learning needs?
Jenny: Well, I asked my son that when I was asking him permission to do this. And he said tell them, “It’s rewarding and tough.” (laughter) And he has a lot of anxiety and a lot of that came from being in public school. We’re still kind of dealing with that some. But, you know, he and I are much closer than we would have been. We got spent a lot of time together. He has some really close friends from being with other homeschooled kids. You know they have co-ops things like that.
I think he has closer relationships with our church family because he has more freedom to do things. And he’s not as stressed. Let’s see, you know I actually miss it. I don’t miss the times when he got upset and we were upset with each other, when we were frustrated with school, but those were learning times too. So, it was just something that really bonded us together.
Sandy: Right. And I found that with my boys also, that we have really good close relationships because of our homeschooling.
Jenny: Yeah! We do. Yeah, because you spend that quality time together and then you have quantity time too. And then you share all the things you learn. We saw, we had some awesome curriculum on different things and biology was one of his favorites. You know, we could talk about it, we could go outside and see it. You know, he liked history so we looked into all kinds of history things. And you go to a play or concert or whatever you want to do to just teach them the things that are important.
Sandy: Sounds great, and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. And hope you thank your son for us. Tell him we appreciate his input too.
Jenny: I will. I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity because I was like most people. I was scared of homeschooling because I didn’t know much about it. And at the time we started there wasn’t very many homeschoolers. Of course that changed a lot, but it really was the best decision that we made. It was just a wonderful experience and I would recommend it highly to anybody.
Sandy: Right. And we were exactly the same way. I was terrified before we started, but it turned out to be our best decision.
Jenny: That’s wonderful. You know, and I even thought if he learns differently and has some challenges, then probably homeschooling is not the best way to go for that, definitely. But I found that it was the opposite. Homeschooling provides the freedom that they really do need. And so it was just an answer to prayer that we could do that.
Sandy: Right. I’m glad things turned out well for you and I hope they turn out well for our listeners down the road. And I really do appreciate your time doing this interview with me.
Jenny: Well, and I want to thank you too for all that you do. I mean your website and all the things and information that you’ve given us has really helped us a lot.
Sandy: Well thank you. I appreciate that. I do what I can to help, and hopefully it helps a lot of kids down the road.
Jenny: Yeah. Yeah.
Sandy: Okay, well thank you so much for calling and for your time and I really do appreciate it.
This is the story of our Homeschooling ADHD journey. It began when my gifted, active son begged me to homeschool him!
I’m sharing this story to encourage you. I know the decision for homeschooling ADHD is a big step. I hope our story will help you see the good in homeschooling ADHD kids. 😉
The questions are in bold. My answers about homeschooling ADHD are listed below each question.
Have you homeschooled from the beginning?
Sandy: “No, we sent our sons to public school. I had never considered homeschooling. Our oldest went to public school for five years. My young went for three years. We began to think about homeschooling ADHD when my young was in second grade.”
What made you decide to take this homeschooling ADHD course?
Sandy: “Early in second grade, my son began asking me, “Why won’t you homeschool me?” “Why can’t we homeschool?” “Can I learn long division?” Et cetera. Our Young Son began hating school. He begged to learn things beyond what they were willing to teach him in school. He was in the gifted program, but the learning pace was too slow for him.
His teacher said they didn’t want to teach him more in second grade because “he’ll be even more bored next year!” That was probably true. Unfortunately, it was also a disservice to our son to hold him back educationally.
My son’s begging to homeschool (I still wonder where he got that idea from because I surely did NOT give it to him!). The ‘issues’ my son had with school led my husband and I to consider homeschooling as a solution. We decided to homeschool because our young son wanted it and our oldest son clearly needed it.
Since you started out in public school, what issues and problems did you face with your children in school?
Sandy: “When we sent our young son to school, he was our active “human tornado.” He was constantly on the go. He had a quick wit and smarts well beyond his years. My son was identified and placed into the gifted program. The gifted program was a pull-out program at our school.
In second grade math, the class was working on addition and subtraction. My son could work 100 problems faster than his teacher had ever seen. She was fascinated by his skill. So my son repeatedly did these pointless drills to see if he could go faster than the previous time. His teacher was amazed by his speed. It kept my son doing something, but he was bored with the repetition.
My son already taught himself multiplication and he wanted to learn long-division. So, I taught him long division *one day* when he was sick at home. At that point I realized my son could zoom further ahead if we just taught him whatever he was interested in learning.
“In addition to young son being held back academically, he began clowning around in class. He was bored waiting on the other children, and creatively entertained himself. Given his ADHD, he would act without thinking.
My son started getting to visit the principal’s office pretty often. I became concerned because the school was starting to label him as a “bad boy.”
The reality was, my son was a very bright, energetic, and bored to death! He spent a lot of time sitting in a desk waiting for others to finish worksheets he finished awhile ago. The public school just did not meet my son’s individual learning or ADHD needs, so we began our homeschooling ADHD trip.
What is your personal level of education?
Sandy: “I had my B.S degree in Computer Science when we began homeschooling. While homeschooling, I earned my M.S. Degree in Instructional Design. My M.S. degree helped me develop great programs for my boys. I wanted to quit my Master’s program, but my husband was insistent that I should not quit. I’m very thankful that I didn’t quit, but it was difficult to be Homeschooling ADHD and going to college myself!”
Did you feel well-qualified to teach your child before you began homeschooling?
Sandy: “Truthfully, I did not. I was TERRIFIED of homeschooling. The thought of being fully responsible for my boys’ educations concerned me.
Still, I knew public school was not helping either of my boys. I went into homeschooling thinking we would put the boys back into public school after a few years at home. I was not at all confident of my abilities.”
What struggles did you you face when homeschooling ADHD?
Sandy: “My young son was a challenge because he was always wanting to know why he had to do his schoolwork. He wanted to play instead and informed me I was a boring teacher! That smacked my pride a bit, but it also helped me work to meet his needs better.
My Young Son was an active learner. He flipped over the arms of chairs, bounced around, and moved all over the place when we were trying to work on his lessons. He was moving all the time, but he could answer my questions. It was clear he was learning, so I let him flip to his heart’s content. He was a happy homeschooling ADHD kid. That meant I was a happy mom!”
What benefits did you experience when homeschooling ADHD?
Sandy: “For my young son, I think we kept him from developing a hatred of school. Although, he didn’t ever love it, I think homeschooling ADHD helped my son stay in school until graduation. If he’d been in public school, I’m pretty sure he would have had bigger issues down the road. It was clear the school wasn’t going to change what they did just to help my son.
I think we also avoided him feeling like a “bad boy.” That was the mindset of the school when they called me into the principal’s office.
At home one of the greatest benefits in homeschooling ADHD was my son’s ability to move–constantly–while doing his school work. He wore me out with his level of ‘go energy,’ but being able to expend that energy allowed him to be happy and well-adjusted. Homeschooling ADHD allowed us to avoid medication for his ADHD. I was willing to teach him while he was moving, so he learned without issues from his ADHD.
Another great benefit was our ability to excel my son’s math program. My son was able to take college-level courses during high school.
We developed a wonderful appreciation for each other too. My young son is a loving, insightful individual. His academic abilities were served well through our homeschooling ADHD journey.”
What is your son’s educational outcome and what is he doing now?
Sandy: “My young son graduated from our homeschooling ADHD quest with 36 credit hours for college. He went to college ranked as a Sophomore. He has a merit scholarship for most of his tuition. He arrived at college with a 3.80 GPA. He is currently in college and continuing to do well.
I am very proud of the young man my son is. I know he will do well in college. He was well-trained to work with his ADHD through our homeschooling ADHD training. I think my son has a great future as a leader ahead!”
Homework Planners can Keep Your Kid BETTER organized
Many children with ADHD, ADD, or executive functioning disorder have a horrible time keeping track of their homework. Assignments get completed, but lost. Parents are dismayed about how to help their child become organized, but sometimes homework planners and organizers are the answer.
In order to have good organization skills, your child must have the tools. The “Trapper Keeper” type of homework planners and organizers are among my favorites. They have pockets and sections for homework assignments. There is a checklist with all subjects where “completed” and “turned in” can be checked off for each school day. These lists can be made and printed monthly.
The most helpful way to develop organizational skills is to establish a repeatable routine that is ‘enforced’ initially. After awhile the skills can be applied naturally as your child becomes accustomed to the routine.
For example, every day at the conclusion of homework.. Your child physically checks off a list of subjects, physically looking to see if he had an assignment, then physically putting the assignment in his homework planners. Nothing gets checked off until physically verified AND placed into the Trapper Keeper.
You have to train your child NOT to check off something because he “thinks” he didn’t have homework or thinks the assignment is in there. He must physically lay eyes on his assignment. It must be in his Trapper Keeper before he makes the check-off.
You will have to do this side-by-side with your child for several weeks before he has the process memorized and can handle it independently. Most importantly understand the necessity of this physical verification.
At the school end is often where you run into the most difficulty. Teachers are sometimes not willing to provide oversight. They may think your child “needs to learn”, except your child can’t learn without direct instruction and being taught. He needs oversight until the routine of using homework planners becomes firmly established. If you can, get your child’s teacher(s) to agree to a daily prompting routine, your child will learn how to use homework planners sooner.
You can have the teachers ask .. “Check your homework list.. Did you have homework in this class?”.. “If you did, it should be in your homework planners. You can turn it in now and check it off when you hand it to me”. The teacher would have to be willing to take on TEACHING responsibility to prompt your child directly, if needed, until the routine is established. This needs to be done in every subject, EVERY day, whether there is homework or not. The key is to establish a routine of looking for and turning in homework. This is a critical routine to establish in order for the disorganized child to become organized.
The child has to be taught to do the routine everyday in every class in order to be able to do it independently as he grows older. Unfortunately, getting ALL teachers to cooperate in this matter is often more difficult than moving mountains!!
There is usually at least one who thinks they shouldn’t have to do this. Some will outright refuse this area of teaching. (Somehow they expect the child to learn how to use homework planners and organizers without teaching!) :-/
If this routine can be started in elementary school when your child generally only has one teacher, it may be possible to establish the routine earlier on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t generally become a significant issue until the child starts changing classes & teachers. Having multiple teachers leads to the one or two teachers refusing to help teach the child. 🙁 But, if you can get most of your child’s teachers to cooperate, you should be well on the way to helping your child establish good organizational skills for homework. Using homework planners throughout his schooling career will help your child be better organized.
Are you searching for natural remedies for ADHD or ADD treatment without using medication?
We didn’t want to use meds with our young son, so we sought natural remedies for ADHD to control his hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
Let me say initially, if you think you need to medicate your child, go for it. I am neither for, nor against, medication for a child with ADHD. I’m sharing this information for anyone who wants to explore natural remedies for ADHD treatment without medication.
Deciding Factors For Using Natural Remedies for ADHD
I think this is an agonizing decision for most parents who are faced with the medication question. Knowing what is best for your child is difficult. The outcome isn’t known until you’ve already started down the path whether you choose natural remedies for ADHD or not. No matter which path you decide upon, I think it helps ease the burden to remember you can always change your mind later!
Your decision is not engraved in stone. You should feel to explore natural remedies for ADHD and/or use medications to find what works for your child. Your child is what is most important in this decision.
I think the main factor that drives parents to chose one solution or the other is the severity of their child’s symptoms. Since clinical ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, milder imbalances are easier to manage through natural remedies for ADHD. If a child has significant deficits in the balance of brain-based chemistry, then I think management using natural remedies for ADHD is much more challenging.
Factors to consider when using natural remedies for ADHD
What behaviors are you concerned about controlling?
How critical are the behaviors to your child’s functioning?
Can the main problem areas be managed without medication?
If educational/behavioral goal(s) can be met in other ways, are you willing and able to provide the needed program elements?
A common concern for parents of children with ADHD is fear of the long-term ramifications of using medication. Many parents don’t want their children to be dependent upon a brain stimulant. Today, many medications are long acting. Addiction is less of a concern. However, the medications are still stimulants.
There are alternatives for raising the level of chemicals in a child’s brain without medication. One way of meeting the need for additional brain chemical stimulation for a child is through intense daily exercise.
Vigorous Exercise as a natural remedy for ADHD
If you choose natural remedies for ADHD, insuring your child gets a good 30–45 minutes of intensive physical activity EACH day can be critical. The intense exercise helps an child with ADHD burn some energy, helps raise the level of serotonin and dopamine in the brain (which is what the medication does).
Raising the brain chemicals can help your child focus longer on school work, improves memory, and helps your child be less impulsive. Exercising can vary from day to day. Exercise can be accomplished through physical activities that interest your child. The activity level may be a bit much for you, but it is a sacrificial decision you’d make to make coping with ADHD feasible for your child.
As an example, your child could do karate two days a week, tennis two days per week, and go for a walk at the park two days per week. Sometimes he can do other things–like wash the cars, or vacuum the whole house, etc. Although the active schedule might be difficult for you or seem like it will break the pocketbook, you can find inexpensive community-based classes, engage in activities that have no associated cost, and you will eventually adjust to your new routines.
There is a lot of neuroscience behind brain development and natural remedies for ADHD. Programs such as Brain Gym or Balametrics, or treatments at the Dore Centers can help stimulate your child’s cerebellum, thereby alleviating ADD/ADHD symptoms. Some people report excellent results with cerebellar stimulation exercise programs, but there aren’t a lot of controlled scientific studies proving its effectiveness.
Family Counseling as a natural remedy for ADHD
Other natural remedies for ADHD include ongoing family counseling. Counseling helps you deal with ADHD issues. It will also help your child learn more appropriate behaviors and reactions. Sometimes the child may go in to work with the psychologist one-on-one, sometimes the psychologist will see each family member one-on-one. Other times the counselor will see everyone as a family.
You can get a psychological referral from your pediatrician. Ask specifically for someone who ‘specializes’ in working with children who have ADHD, learning disability issues, or or specializes in neuropsychology.
I think many psychologists who specialize in ADHD, learning disabilities, and family counseling approach the situation differently than typical medical doctors (who may see medication as a quick cure all). A good doctor will be willing to work with you either way you want to go. Whether you choose natural remedies for ADHD, knowing you have more work cut out for you, or choose medication, your family will need good advice. You’ll want professional who is willing to accept your family’s individual decision. Whatever you decide, you will likely need ongoing support for your family and child.
Counseling for ADHD issues doesn’t have to occur weekly. Counseling can take place once or twice per month, depending upon how intense the situation around your house is. You may not need a lot of counseling, but enough to help deal with issues that have surfaced since your last visit. A counselor can help come up with ideas for you to help your child understand he MUST do school work. He may teach your child ways to stay focused too. The counselor will listen to you vent when you’re exasperated.
For your child, the counselor can help your child reflect on appropriate or inappropriate behaviors and expectations. The counselor helps your child with ideas for dealing with frustration or tasks he’s disinterested in completing.
With regular counseling, your household can run smoother. Everyone will cope better. Family counseling helps everyone be a lot less frustrated. There is often less chaos. I think the regular counseling, combined with other non-medicated solutions, makes a difference similar to what you’d see with medication. When you’re using natural remedies for ADHD, it just takes a bit longer to get settled down (about six months). I understand medication makes a relatively immediate difference, but takes a few weeks to determine the correct dose. It can take six months to find ‘the right’ medication and dosage.
Diet management as a natural remedy for ADHD
Another one of the natural remedies for ADHD is diet management. There are several experts who have written books about ADHD and its correlation with artificial chemicals in our foods. Probably the most widely known expert source of diet related information is the Feingold Association. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and adults apply proven dietary techniques for better behavior, learning and health.
At the very least, eliminating “junk” food is one of the natural remedies for ADHD many parents find helpful. However, eliminating junk food is seldom sufficient for eliminating ADHD behaviors. MOST of the packaged foods contain some sort of food dye or preservative which can have pervasive effects. If you are going to use natural remedies for ADHD for your child, making some dietary changes will be beneficial. Please check out the Feingold Association for specifics on making significant dietary changes that may benefit your child.
Deciding whether to use natural remedies for ADHD
You still may not know whether you want to medicate your child or use natural remedies for ADHD. If it helps at all, one teacher-parent said she’d medicate her child if the child were in school, but not if she were homeschooled. In public school, it is difficult to control the environment sufficiently to address the needs of the child on an ongoing basis. It is often better to ‘make’ the child fit the environment.
Homeschooling parents can modify their homeschool to suit their child’s individual needs. Thus, a homeschooled child doesn’t have to be ‘modified’ to fit the home environment nearly as often. Whether you choose medication or natural remedies for ADHD, your choice can be dependent upon the bigger picture of your child’s daily routine and needs.
While it may be difficult to think of modifying your child through medication, if your child is in public school, that may be the best decision for your child in the long-term. If you do decide to medicate your child, it will help you to find a doctor who specializes in ADHD issues. A specialist will be able to direct you in more aspects of dealing with ADHD than a general practitioner. A generalist may have insufficient knowledge about specific problems and issues your child will be facing with ADHD.
Benefits of medication as a remedy for ADHD
Benefits of medication may include more immediate control of a child’s behavior and immediate improvement in a child’s ability to concentrate. Your child will have more ‘availability’ for learning-based tasks. The level of improvement and immediacy of it will depend totally on the appropriateness of the selected medication for your individual child.
If the doctor happens to select a perfect match, you are set immediately. Most often, some modifications to medicines or dosages are required through an adjustment period. During the period when your doctor is trying to determine the best medication and dosage for your child, you may go through periods when your child has behavioral changes, changes in appetite, disrupted sleep patterns, etc. Talk with your doctor about any symptoms that are of concern, particularly those having any significant impact on your child.
Parents who have chosen medication give mixed testimony. Some have had dramatic, outstanding results. Others have had a difficult road with many modifications in the child’s medication with few definitive results. Some parents mourn the loss of a ‘spark’ their child once had, whereas others say they noticed no personality changes in their child.
Likewise, some people who initially decided to use natural remedies for ADHD had poor results. Some have realized a tremendous turn-around once they decided to medicate their child. The outcome with medication will be unique to your child, and the outcome cannot be accurately guessed without trying medication to see how it affects your child.
What ever your decision may be, always remember you can change your decision if you need to. In all likelihood, there will be a period of adjustment whether you choose natural remedies for ADHD or not. If nothing else, I hope this page has given you some ideas about ways to help your child using natural remedies for ADHD.
Maybe the information will have cleared a little confusion for you about whether to medicate your child or use natural remedies for ADHD. The choice is yours.
Best Wishes no matter which remedy you choose!
Recommended Resource: Focus Pocus – The Focus Pocus Program gives you creative and multisensory methods to help your child focus and stay engaged with his schoolwork. This is an ideal program for homeschooling families because it provides you with some great behavior management and study techniques that help you keep your kid academically engaged throughout the day.
Did you know a large number parents homeschool ADHD kids who are bright learners?
Did you know there is research where moms homeschool ADHD kids and have better educational progress than publicly schooled kids with ADHD?
You can homeschool ADHD as a super way to help your child get a great education withOUT being labeled as a “bad kid.” Parents who homeschool ADHD kids don’t have a teacher sending home notes every day about the impulsive or disruptive things their child did.
I’ve BEEN THERE–on both accounts. My children started out in public school, but we changed to homeschooling. It was the BEST decision we ever made, educationally speaking.
Having been here and done that with my son’s ADHD.. I want to share these educational resources for moms who homeschool ADHD kids. The support groups and links to websites can help you deal with your child’s ADHD while schooling at home.
Having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a significant challenge for any parent, but moms who homeschool ADHD kids often avoid a lot of public school issues. Public school is often a poor place for a child with ADD / ADHD to learn effectively.
For example, I LET my child flip all over the place, sit on a big bouncing ball and bounce while reading. He walked on the treadmill while listening to audiobooks, and jumped on the trampoline while practicing math facts. Moms who homeschool ADHD kids can ALLOW their kids to be themselves while learning more easily!
Given that your child has ADD / ADHD and you homeschool your ADHD child, you will find great comfort in resources that will help you effectively treat, manage, and deal with ADHD. There are many parents in our Learning Abled Kids’ Yahoo Group for moms who homeschool ADHD kids. Please join our group, and check out the resources below.
Your journey through homeschooling your bright, energetic child may be challenging at times, but it will also bring you unexpected joys. You’ll have an easier time on the homeschool ADHD road if you arm yourself with knowledge about behavior management, and a solid understanding of your child’s personality type. Check out the resources below to arm yourself with good information.
Recommended Reading for Moms who Homeschool ADHD kids:
Superparenting for ADD was my FAVORITE parenting book in regard to dealing with ADHD. “With decades of experience working with ADD children, Dr. Edward Hallowell has long argued that ADD is too often misunderstood, mistreated, and mislabeled as a “disability.” Superparenting for ADD offers a specific game plan. By understanding your child as described in Superparenting, you can nurture YOUR child through homeschooling. You can allow your child to safely take risks. You can let your child dabble as a way to learn, encourage playful practice and support mastery of a skill. Then you can recognize and reward your child’s accomplishments.
Calm Kids Program – The Calm Kids Program Increases Your Childs Concentration, Focus And Attention Span As Well Calming Him Down In Minutes…perfect For The Hyperactive/ADD Child.
The Gift Of ADHD – “Children with ADHD exhibit exceptional strengths that Honos-Webb sees as opportunities. These gifts include emotional sensitivity toward others, passion and exuberance. They have unusual problem-solving skills and a love of nature. Honos-Webb’s goal is to bring these traits to light and help parents transform “symptoms into talents—or at the least, lovable eccentricities.”
Parenting Children With Adhd – “Gives parents a framework for building a successful parenting program at home. Reviews the educational rights of children with ADHD and outlines a process for working with school district’s to get your child the help they need.”
Making the System Work for Your Child with ADHD – “Detailed practical information on a variety of topics relevant to raising a child with AD/HD,” “How to cut through the red tape and get what you need from doctors, teachers, schools, and healthcare plans.”
The Little Monster: Growing Up With ADHD – A valuable tool for any parent, teacher or individual who is touched by ADHD that will help you understand your ADHD child. It will help you cope with your child’s ADHD more easily.