We’ve been using unit studies in our homeschool for years. Personally, I love them. They’re flexible and adaptable, which is perfect for keeping our kids interested in the lessons. We can write them ourselves, buy them from others, or make them up as we go.
If you’re unfamiliar with the unit study approach to homeschooling, check out our previous post about what unit studies are for more details. But, generally, they’re multi-subject lessons based around a central theme. You might have a medieval history unit or a harvest unit or a bear unit, and so on.
Since we’re homeschooling kids with ADHD, we make a few changes to help our kids stay interested and excited about what we’re learning. Here are a few tips that you can use to learn how to write a unit study for kids with ADHD!
How to Write a Unit Study for ADHD Kids
Follow their interests.
With unit studies, you have the flexibility to choose any topic you (or the kids) want. If one of your children is a huge fan of construction, like Roo is now, make that your topic. You won’t have to worry about them paying attention then. 🙂
When you’ve selected your topic, find ways to include all of the important subjects within it. For example, in a construction unit, I might include math worksheets featuring a construction theme, books about construction machines, and scientific concepts that are used in construction such as simple machines. It’s a great way to help kids develop an interest in subjects they may not have liked in the past.
Include movement at every opportunity.
Physical activity is excellent for helping kids with ADHD refocus their attention for learning. Use brain breaks or short bursts of physical movement every hour to give their brains a much-needed shot of adrenalin.
If you can find a way to make movement a part of the unit study, that’s even better! Using our construction example, kids can build a tower out of blocks, paper towel tubes, or sponges. You could even have them act out the functions of each construction machine they learn about. In fact, one of Roo’s favorite things to do right now is to use his arms like a front loader, complete with sound effects. It certainly makes our P.E. lessons interesting. 🙂
Don’t stress about time.
One of the goals of homeschooling is to help our kids love learning. If they’re doing that, don’t feel like you have to drop the topic to cover a different unit within a certain amount of time. If your children are enjoying the topic, it’s perfectly fine to stick with it for days, weeks, or even months on end.
Do you use unit studies with your kids who have ADHD? Tell us about how you adjust your units for them in the comments!
This post is part of the 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling series! Thanks for following along with us this month! See all of the posts in the series by clicking the image below!
Faith White says
Hey! I have just finished going through your “31 Days” in the last 2 hours :). I love how you wrote it so that it can apply to my homeschooling of my 8th grader whom I just pulled from public school because of ADHD/anxiety and a transient tic. We have just had 2 really rough weeks and ready to quit…but going “back” to school is not an option. Your words have given me a new perspective and a toolbox full of tools. I am encouraged that the homeschooling will be a success and I’ll still have energy for my 3 other kids! Hope you are doing well in all of your endeavors! Thank you so much for putting so much time into creating concise, doable instructions/guidelines.
Selena Robinson says
Hi! I’m so glad to “meet” you! And I’m so happy that the series was helpful to you! PS is nearly always a struggle for kids with ADD/ADHD, so I completely understand why you’re homeschooling now. It is definitely difficult at times, but it is so worth it to see our kids finally understanding concepts that they couldn’t grasp before. Big, big, big (HUGS) to you as you start your journey!!!!
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂