Thursday, January 10, 2013

Home Educating a hyperactive child

My husband and I are both ADD and it seems our son inherited those same genetics. :) This has made home education have a different level of challenges for me. People are always asking me ways that I handle my son. First off... ADHD is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. About 7.8% of children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with this. "Children with ADHD may be impulsive, acting before they think or without regard for the situation they are in, and often can be inattentive and may still find it hard to sit still." (Slavin, Robert E., Educational Psychology)

My opinion, ADHD is not that big of a deal. When combined with other issues it is harder but by itself, it's not. You just need different methods of teaching or things for the students to do. Dh and I don't like labeling it, we have never told Collin this is his excuse. We just tell him to focus. Here are some things I do with him in school that have been helpful and some not so helpful for us but others claim them to be.

  1. Use an exercise band and tie it across the front legs of the chair. This gives the student something to kick and play with while sitting in the chair doing school work.
  2. Stress ball! These are great. My son squeezes his and fidgets with it a lot. It gives his hands something to do to keep them busy.
  3. Exercise ball. This is one of those that didn't work well for me but they say to use the exercise ball instead of a chair because then the student has to focus on balance and they can easily do little bounces. Our problem with this one was that my son would roll himself all around the room on it. I couldn't get him to stay still at his desk so this was a definite FAIL for us. haha! But, apparently it works for some. :)
  4. Gum is also an excellent and easy option. If the student is chewing gum then it keeps him or her doing two things at once. This often helps with the focusing.
  5. A ball at feet. One thing that I've never read anywhere but works great for my son is to have a ball about the size of a cantaloupe at his feet. He kicks it around under the desk but he remains focused.
  6. Lots of breaks!! But the breaks should be rewards. We do one subject per hour. Rarely does it ever take an entire hour to do a subject so if he focuses and completes the subject then he has a longer break. If he won't focus and does other stuff then he has less of a break. Even if he runs out of time, I still give him a 10 minute break to run around a bit, otherwise he would not be able to focus on the next subject but he LOVES the longer breaks.
  7. Essential Oils! Okay, I'm an essential junkie! I made my son a small roller bottle of coconut oil, wild orange, and peppermint. He keeps it in his pocket and when he feels he is losing focus he pulls it out and puts it on himself. He loves having his own roller bottle to use when he needs to.
Well, these are the things we have used. Hopefully you will find them useful and be able to find something that works for you and your family. :) Now I can just refer ppl to this post instead of re-typing it over and over again. LOL! :) yay!!

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