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If your child has ADHD, homeschooling could well be your best chance to help them learn and maximize their potential. Unlike a traditional school, you are free to adapt your homeschooling routine to meet your child’s specific needs. You can provide a calm, distraction-free work space, you can build plenty of time into your day for physical activity and you can choose programs that work best for your child with the freedom to change anything as needed. Building up an arsenal of Special Education Homeschool Resources for kids with ADHD is your first step to success.
1. New To Homeschooling? Special Education Homeschool Resources For Beginners;
You’ve decided to take the plunge and homeschool your child. Along with a high speed internet connection, it’s nice to have a couple of books with homeschooling information and usable suggestions for children with ADHD.
- Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathy Kuhl is an excellent resource for those just getting started with homeschooling. Kuhl homeschooled her own son with ADHD and set out to gather resources. The book is based on interviews with 64 families who have homeschooled children with special needs. You’ll get valuable information on assessing whether school is working for your child, what a typical day of homeschooling might look like and tried and true techniques for helping your child learn.
- Smart But Scattered by Peg Dawson is an excellent book on teaching and developing executive skills – the skills that help us plan, focus, and remember. It’s written for parents to help their children, no matter where the children are educated. The concrete explanations and advice are particularly helpful if you’re teaching a child with ADHD. In the process of helping your child, you’ll learn a lot about yourself as well.
- How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and Onto Learning by Carol Barnier is a funny glimpse into the life of one family’s homeschool adventure which included their son with ADHD. Her advice is straight from the trenches and can be put to use right away. The book includes games and teaching aids you can use in your own homeschool. Having this book is like having a funny, reassuring friend right there all the time – cheering you on.
2. Special Education Homeschool Resources To Prepare Your House;
You’re ready for homeschooling, is your house? One of the greatest things you can do for your child with ADHD is provide a structured, organized, calm environment. If you struggle with getting organized or if your house feels cluttered and chaotic, take some tips from the Homeschool Resources for adhd below.
- If you avoid certain areas of your home because the clutter is overwhelming or if you always seem to be drowning in a sea of random papers, it’s time to take charge. This checklist will walk you through decluttering any room including tips on how to decide what stays and what goes.
- If your child is part of the clutter problem, it’s time to help them become part of the solution. There are practical tips that can help your child be more aware of the mess they make and learn how to clean up after themselves. Making a few small changes around the house can eliminate a lot of frustration for you and your child. Another resource to check out is Fly Lady. Fly Lady encourages you daily to take baby steps. She encourages you to get your kids involved. Everything she has you do is quick (you set a timer) and painless. This is not about perfection, it’s about getting a routine that works. If you have never tried it, give it a shot for 3-6 months. You will notice a difference.
- Whether you plan to use a dedicated schoolroom or just an area of your kitchen, living or dining room, the workbox system might just be the most powerful homeschool resource for kids with ADHD available. Created by Sue Patrick after her own son was diagnosed with autism, the workbox system allows you to present school in manageable bites, manage both yours and your child’s time, and help keep you on track with your year’s plan. While you can figure out the system without purchasing Ms. Patrick’s e-book, the $10.50 download is well worth it for the detailed information and the access it allows you to free downloads and other services.
3. Need Help Finding Curriculum For Your Child With Special Needs?
What am I supposed to do now?? Don’t panic. No matter what grade your child is in, you can design a curriculum specifically for their needs. Do some research first. Start at the HSDLA’s website to find your state’s homeschool association – all states have one. Through your state association, you can find out about local homeschool groups. Also do an internet search as not all homeschool groups are listed with the state. It might take a couple of visits to different groups until you find the right fit but it’s worth the effort. Nothing beats being able to talk to other parents who know what it’s like.
- If you are not on the Rainbow Resource mailing list, go sign up now. Each spring they send a giant, phone-book sized catalog of books, curriculum, teaching aids, games and more. For homeschool parents it’s like Christmas in March! They not only list items they sell, they offer personal reviews (it’s a family company) of many items. There is even more information on their website. The family who runs the company is unabashedly Christian but their reviews are fair, honest and accurate. Their pricing is competitive and if you can combine orders with a friend, you’ll get free shipping.
- While you’re searching for a local homeschool group why not join a virtual one? If you are leaning toward classical homeschooling, the Learning Challenges forum at the Well Trained Mind is a great place to ask questions and find answers. Don’t limit yourself to that forum alone. Jump around to the age-appropriate school forum and to the general forum. You do not have to be using a strictly classical approach to take part. The forums are well moderated, busy and friendly. Don’t be shy.
- Life is expensive enough even before you throw in homeschooling. Do yourself a favor and check out used homeschool curriculum, particularly if you are trying a new program. You can often find sales through local homeschool groups – even if you don’t belong to that group. Online, you can try Homeschool Classifieds, The Well Trained Mind and Veg Source to find a huge variety of material at excellent discounts. If you get lucky, you might find a seller who has children a year or two ahead of yours who is willing to contact you first with anything they’re selling before they list it publicly. Also, do a quick google search for Special Education Resources; you’ll be shocked how much is available for free, or rather inexpensive.
4. Homeschool Resources To Help Keep Your Child With ADHD Focused And Interested;
Oooo! Look! There’s Something Shiny! One of your biggest challenges is going to be keeping your child focused and interested in lessons. Basic tips include things like using a timer for lessons – some kids respond positively to this, others flip out. You decide. Keep lessons short. Make allowances for fidgeting – keep squishy balls on hand, have your child sit on an exercise ball while they work, let your child stand and work at the kitchen counter/island. Build in 2-3 sessions of vigorous activity throughout the day. But, what else? Don’t say you’re not creative. It doesn’t matter if you’re creative or not! We have the internet! Creative people have gone before us and done the work. You just need to find them, thank them for taking the time to share and benefit from their work!
- Speaking of creative, Carol at Westfield Academy offers some brilliant tips on making lessons interesting and fun. She is also the author of the book How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator mentioned above and another book, If I’m Diapering a Watermelon, Where Did I Leave the Baby? She’s fun, inspirational and worth visiting.
- If you are feeling like you cannot possibly teach your child, visit Laura Grace Weldon and read this article. What she writes is true of all children, not just those with ADHD. Bookmark it and come back to it when you need inspiration. While you may not be inclined to embrace “free-range” homeschooling, her insights are valid and her son is proof that her approach can work.
- Special Education Tutoring is an option growing significantly in popularity over the past few years. As more families of children with special needs choose homeschooling, having regular one-on-one tutoring sessions with a special education expert is a proven way to rapidly increase results.
- A consistent schedule is important for a child with ADHD. This does not mean you have to schedule every minute of the day. Simply, find a routine that works for you and stick to it. If your child knows what to expect, you’re more likely to get things done. Visit Selena and read about her experiences. She’s a mom with ADHD, married to a man with ADHD and her older three children all have ADHD. Talk about an expert!
Homeschooling your child with ADHD may just be the biggest gift you will ever give them. You are allowing them time to be themselves, time to grow up and learn at their own pace, and time with you. Nothing compares with the experience, even when it’s difficult, of learning right alongside of your child. Enjoy the ride.