Happy Monday all! Welcome to the second installment of our series “Homeschooling with ADHD!” Last week, we discussed why it’s important that we manage our expectations of our children and ourselves. Today we’ll be talking about adapting as teachers.
When we accept the responsibility of homeschooling our kids, we’re accepting a special privilege, especially when working with kids who have special needs.
The good news is that we can adapt the schoolwork to suit our children, instead of forcing them to adapt to the curriculum. The bad news is that doing this successfully may require that we completely overhaul our teaching styles to suit their learning styles.
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Considering Your Kids’ Learning Styles
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of learning styles, head over to my friend Heather’s blog Only Passionate Curiosity to get a primer on the various ways kids learn. Essentially, there are four styles: Kinesthetic, Auditory, Visual, and Tactile.
Tigger, our only ADHD-diagnosed child so far, is a mixture of kinesthetic and visual. This means that she learns best through lots of movement and colorful charts and pictures. She also has a few sensory issues so we try to include tactile learning as well.
Changing to Fit Their Needs
The problem for me is that I’m a strictly visual learner. I can sit in a desk all day and read books until my eyes water. Naturally, I taught in this same manner with lots of workbooks, reading assignments, and extended sitting. Tigger was literally bouncing off the walls the entire time. It wasn’t until I dropped my preferred teaching style to fit her needs that she started to make improvements.
Now, we try to use a less structured curriculum and incorporate more active learning experiences, life-led learning lessons, and plenty of colorful pictures. As a result, we’ve seen her interest in learning take off! We still do a limited amount of seated work just to help her get used to sitting for some period of time, but we usually let her use that time for concepts she’s already mastered so that it won’t be as stressful.
How have you adapted as a teacher to help your children learn? Have you found that changing your teaching style has made it easier for your kids to enjoy lessons? Let us know in the comments!
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Managing Expectations
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Making Lifestyle Changes
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Preparing Kids to Learn
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Considering the Other Kids