For some teachers, teaching students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) can seem like a handful. Okay, maybe two or three handfuls. For a child with ADHD, tasks which require engagement and focus (anything school related outside of recess, physical education and lunch…) tend to come off as too arduous, not engaging enough or downright boring. Apply this to a homeschooling environment and without the proper tools, you might end up frustrated and ready to give up as your child schedules recess a couple hours early.
No need to fear. Here are three life, time and attention saving tips to keep both you and your little one focused on today’s lesson plan!
Avoid feeding your child too many carbohydrates in the morning. A breakfast too high in carbohydrates can wreak havoc on your child’s blood sugar levels which causes inattention as well as impulsive and restless behavior. Apply that to a child with ADHD and you might as well be homeschooling The Flash. Adding a substantial amount of protein such as peanut butter, eggs and bacon to breakfast will keep your child’s blood sugar levels steady. For some this might be a big change, but the results are well worth it as your student will be more attentive and ready to learn.
Distractions Are Your Friends:
When learning new material, it is normal for children to have a difficult time keeping up and staying focused even with minimal distractions. With ADHD, not only do you have to teach around distractions, but the lack of constant activity is a distraction itself. It is important to work with the distractions in your environment. Try to incorporate those distractions into the lesson. Is little Bobby more interested in his hot wheels than the math lesson? Try to use the toys as tools for teaching your lesson. You may find that your student picks up on material easier when it becomes more relevant to their interests.
For children with ADHD, the only thing more distracting than actual distractions is a lack of distractions, or worse: silence. This is a scenario that most kids with ADHD dread, especially when testing or completing other assignments. Recent studies have shown that listening to music while completing tasks can actually help children with ADHD to complete their assignments. In fact, background music can be just as effective as medication when it comes to staying focused due to the fact that the brain anticipates rhythms and then stops the mind from thinking about any other minor distractions that may be in the environment. Of course, results will vary, so test the waters by experimenting with calmer genres of music (Classical, Jazz and Ambient) and this should help drown out any other distractions.
- Go with the flow.
- Make it entertaining.
- Make it rewarding.
- Background Music
Just remember these and you’ll be on your way to a smarter and more effective teaching style that your child with ADHD will forever be grateful to you for.
For more information on teaching students with ADHD please check out this great book “Taking Charge Of ADHD“! It outlines how to manage ADHD and even has a proven eight-step behavior management plan specifically designed for 6- to 18-year-olds with ADHD. Worth looking into!