Yesterday we talked about some of the struggles of homeschooling moms who have ADHD. Among them – or at least among mine – are disorganization, forgetfulness, and hyperfocus. Since you need a good routine to keep kids with ADHD on track, trying to teach them at home when you also have ADHD presents a whole world of problems.
For me (and many other people with ADHD), one problem is consistency. I can organize my things. I just can’t keep them organized afterward. I have absolutely no interest whatever in the daily maintenance of our homeschooling space. So, here are a few homeschool organization tips for moms with ADHD that I’ve used to keep our homeschool space somewhat under control.
Homeschooling Organizing for ADHD Parents
Designate one day per month to reorganizing.
Since I tend to hyperfocus on single tasks, I am awesome at once a month cleaning and reorganizing. I am NOT awesome at doing daily cleaning sessions. Sometimes I actually do not even see that the room is messy. Truly.
I’ve tried and tried and tried to make myself into a neat person, but it’s just not for me. I keep our open spaces clutter-free and clean, but my desk is a perpetual mess of books, papers, notebooks, and pens. I’ve since accepted that it’s a writer’s desk and, as such, it should be messy. It’s only right. 🙂
But once a month or so, I go into hyper-cleaning mode and I want to declutter from top to bottom. When I feel that coming on, I take advantage of it to the fullest. I set aside that entire day (generally) and clean like my life depended on it.
I go through all of our completed work for the past month and file it or chunk it. I also reorganize our school books, pull out our upcoming readers, and plan our arts and crafts for the next month. That gives me nearly a month before I have to do this all again, which is generally when I’ll experience another hyper-cleaning session.
Use the type of organizing system that is best suited for you.
I’m a visual person. I need to see constant visual reminders in order to get anything done. But for the longest time, I tried to make myself into the paper planner type. While I love filling in the planner, I don’t love looking at it every morning. In fact, I generally write down my schedule and then promptly misplace the planner. Or worse, put it on my desk and stack so many things on top that I forget to look at my list until a week later. Not helpful.
Instead, we use visual organizing systems such as workboxes, routine charts, and posted schedules. If I see our objects and plans each day, I’m far more likely to stick with them and maintain them, if for no other reason than that our things look better when they’re straightened.
Do a weekly review.
Okay, I can’t take credit for this one. My blogging buddy, Sarah from Early Bird Mom, suggested this and I loved it so much that I featured it in this week’s Family Fun Friday linkup. Sarah suggests that homeschooling moms pick one evening per week that they can sit down and complete a weekly review.
This is a designated time to look ahead to the upcoming week and remind yourself of your household, homeschooling, and financial obligations. That is an incredible idea, especially since I tend to write random reminders on bits of paper all over the house….and then forget to look at them again in time to do the required task. 🙂
How about you? If you’re a mom with ADHD, how do you keep your homeschool organized? Share your suggestions in the comments!
This post is part of the 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling series! Stop by tomorrow for Day 19: Calming Tips for Parents with ADHD!
My daughter is only 15 months, but I’m just realizing I have ADD and your tips are helpful even though I’m not homeschooling. Thanks!
Selena Robinson says
Hi! Thanks for stopping by!
I am a To Do List fanatic! People always ask me how I get so much done, it’s because I was taught in school to plan everything (who would’ve thought that Study Skills class I had to take in 9th grade would go so far). In order for me to get stuff done I have to plan it out. So I do the following every night (1) Update my day calender I keep in my purse of my TO DO’s, Then update those items on the family calender to send reminders to whoever needs to handle the TO DO (even reminders for myself that’s sent to my phone) (2) Check off each thing as I go throughout my day (3) What doesn’t get done gets moved to the list that night – AND if anything crops up I have to do, I update the list that’s on my Post-It note on my main daily planner.
Selena Robinson says
To-Do Lists are awesome! I just forget to look at them the next day…lol. And I’ve tried everything. Putting them on my phone. Sticking them on my computer screen. Hanging them on the refrigerator. Nothing. Sometimes I tell Tigger “Remind me to….” and she’ll remember to tell me, but she usually remembers as she’s going to bed that night. 🙂
What I have to do now is get all of the supplies I need for the specific tasks and leave them next to my bed. So if I have a specific reading to do for class. I print the assignment, find the page in the textbook, place the assignment in the book at that specific page, and lay the book on the floor next to my bed. First thing I see when I get up in the morning is the book and the assignment ready to go.
It’s funny: in an attempt to become organized I’ve bought and downloaded a million and one weekly planners only to end up abandoning them. (So I’m with you, Selena, on that.) Realistically, I am NOT going to write down every little thing every little day. Even if I wanted to, I could not remember to! So the only planner I am successful at is my Homeschool Lesson Planner which allows me to simply and easily write in what we did each day for each subject. Other than that, I, too, use Chore Charts and Routine Charts and Schedules, neatly posted to the right of my computer, to simply glance at.