Darlin-mcfarlane

Tips for a Momma with ADD? ;)

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Darlin-mcfarlane

Homeschooling is seriously one of the greatest blessings in my life right now. I have four under the age of 9 and we are currently missionaries in Fiji. I am officially homeschooling for the first time this year with 3 in school. The little guy gets what he can along the way. I am so thankful for this challenge and have ADD myself and am wondering if any mommas out there could give me some survival tips for this journey!

I am doing my absolute best to set a schedule but it is a weak point for me. I’ve never been a schedule person, but somehow I feel like it will do wonders! Any ideas of how to make my day flow better??? It would help my Momma brain and heart! Trying to show myself ALOT of grace so my kids can get it from me!!! Thanks y’all!

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luvmyguys

The best thing that I found is to find curriculum that doesn't necessarily require a schedule.  Rod and Staff worked pretty well for grammar and spelling, because they were largely pick up and go curricula.  External-but-flexible structure tends to work the best.  If it isn't flexible enough, you'll ditch it quickly.  Set priorities on subjects (3R's had to happen - we might slide on some science and history).  Make sure that there are lots of opportunities for real-world learning.  Enjoy the bunny trails.  If, when looking at curricula, you find yourself getting overwhelmed, walk away.  It may be the greatest thing in the world, but if it's overwhelming to you, you probably won't use it.

Things that worked for other families didn't work for us (both oldest boy, now a senior, and I are ADHD - something I didn't fully realize until after his diagnosis). I would start the year with all of these different ideas for organization - the files, the notebooks, the drawers, the everything else.  It was too overwhelming to keep up with, so it was usually ditched within a month.

Now, what I'm finding helpful is to do my planning in the evening (it just never happens in the morning).  I use a bullet journal for my planner, because it's flexible.  You can find LOTS of ideas on the YouTube channel How To ADHD.  The creator has a ton of great ideas for things like routines that work with ADHD brains.

And most of all, ADD/ADHD has its own set of superpowers.  Find them and use them to your benefit.  Good luck!

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Happy to be Me

My husband has ADHD and really struggled with organizing himself and his day until he got on medication. If you aren't on meds you might want to talk to your doctor about it. As a former SPED teacher, I found that for my students with ADHD, making lists of things that they wanted to accomplish for the day and then checking them off really helped. It feels good to check something off a list!  Best of luck!

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Countrymom9
2 hours ago, Happy to be Me said:

My husband has ADHD and really struggled with organizing himself and his day until he got on medication. If you aren't on meds you might want to talk to your doctor about it. As a former SPED teacher, I found that for my students with ADHD, making lists of things that they wanted to accomplish for the day and then checking them off really helped. It feels good to check something off a list!  Best of luck!

The list is my strategy. I admit to being a bit list-dependent and overorganized, but I function well that way. I would not mind meds, but they make me a bit dizzy.

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doxa

My son (15, who has ADHD) just thrives on lists with check boxes and clear assignments written out next to them.  By golly, if he knows exactly what he is expected to do, and he has the capacity to do it, he gets the gratification of working at his own speed, checking off the box, and knowing that he is DONE.

It took me quite a while to get the hang of using a free online tool called Homeschool Skedtrak, but once I figured it out, it wasn't that hard, and assignments could be entered in in batches.  If one assignment does not get done on a particular day, it just automatically rolls over to the next day.  Each day it brings up a list of what he is supposed to do for each class.  (I can make edits as we go along.). I can't tell you how much the external structure of having all of the assignments written out and check boxes helps him stay organized.  It also shows us if there is a problem.  If something is not getting done and there is not enough time, we might have to dial some things down.  

 

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Countrymom9
6 hours ago, doxa said:

My son (15, who has ADHD) just thrives on lists with check boxes and clear assignments written out next to them.  By golly, if he knows exactly what he is expected to do, and he has the capacity to do it, he gets the gratification of working at his own speed, checking off the box, and knowing that he is DONE.

 

 

My kids have all done well with this type of lists, whether they had learning difficulties or not. I'm quite sure I have ADHD, and this works for me in my "school life" as well as my "other life". I just use a homemade template.

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momtoboys

My ADD best serves me when I am able to first secure my own oxygen mask: get enough sleep, nutrient dense diet, exercise, "me-time". And then, practically, within the homeschool context, I do not plan our school year out lesson by lesson, but rather devote a chunk of time each day to each subject, and go through at our own pace. I have experimented, and found my kiddos do best hitting the day with something they like a lot--math. (Also, as I struggle with motivation at times, it is a huge help if my kids are motivated to get to the table. Once they are there, I have to be there, too, and so we begin!). So our first hour we devote to math. The kids kind of rotate with who needs help, and then can do computer or other activities when they are done. It doesn't matter if we start at 7:50 or 9am, our first chunk of time is always math. I give them a break between each of our "chunks", so after math is a snack break, and I prepare for the next chunk, which is always language arts. We give that about 60 minutes. Doesn't matter what time of day it happens, before or after lunch, our second chunk is always LA. Then after LA is a break (usually for lunch), then we do our "fun" subjects. For me, it has often worked out nicely to have the next chunk be geography/history 3 days a week (so sometimes two lessons worth on one day if I am following a 4 or 5 day history schedule--no big deal), and science 1 or 2 days a week (not the same days as history). Finally, the last chunk of the day is usually an art lesson, or instrument practice, or therapy for a couple of my kids, but my ADD is pretty done by the late afternoon, so it's definitely "loose". No TV, though, so even if I am not on it, the kids are still doing edifying things. :) We accomplish Bible and devotionals in the evenings, because then we can do it with daddy. Often read-alouds happen in the car, via Audible. Anyway, this scheduling is pretty simple. I can't remember a lot of things, I show up wrong day wrong time to appointments, I am very distractible and easily discouraged, but I can remember and count on every school day beginning with math first, LA second, history OR science third, and ideally art or music (or whatever!) last, breaks in between (where they are often teaching themselves a multitude of things I wouldn't think of). Also, gathering all my supplies at the beginning of the year is key (to take advantage of that ADD intense focus that happens when we are excited about something! I count on that kicking in every year in August to help get me started), so everything I need will be waiting for me like a gift in a box when it comes up in our various lessons. If I have to gather supplies in January when I am bogged down and questioning the sanity of homeschooling, it won't get done. 

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Rebecca9

For me I have to 'MAKE' myself do school every school day and sit with the DC while they do their work. I am sooooooo easily distracted and if I get up from teaching I get busy doing other things and the day gets away from me or I get upset because the DC aren't getting their work done and I yell at the DC out of frustration. Neither of these situations are fun for anyone, so I sit through all schooling and read online or a book while they do their independent work, and we 'do' school every school day. Its easy to say you want to foster learning and grace, but its another thing to make it happen figuring out why things may not work the way you wanted. 

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