I am a huge proponent of goal-setting. Since I have adult ADHD, I usually need regular goals to help me stay focused on what I’m trying to accomplish. As a result, I try to set learning goals for my kids with ADHD as well.
Goal-setting, though, only works if we consider our kids’ unique situations. That’s just another vote in favor for homeschooling, because we can set different goals for each child that are specifically designed to help them improve in their schoolwork.
Here are a few tips I use to help set learning goals for children with ADHD! Read on to see if these tips work for your family!
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How to Set Learning Goals for Children with ADHD
1. Make sure the goals are attainable.
The most important part of goal-setting for ADHD kids is choosing reasonable goals. Simply getting started can feel overwhelming to the ADHD brain, so if the process is too intimidating, your kids won’t even want to try.
Have the kids start with small, reachable goals that are catered to their levels. If you have a kindergartner that loves to read, set a goal of finishing one easy reader per day. But if you have a kindergartner who doesn’t love reading, set a goal of reading for five minutes per day. That way, there’s no pressure for kids to compete with their siblings.
Take-away: Have the kids start with small, reachable goals that are catered to their levels.
2. Have them choose their own deadlines.
Some kids with ADHD do well with pressure and work best on a deadline. Others don’t. If your kids like deadlines, have them decide when they think they can accomplish them and then write them on a calendar.
Resist the urge to choose a goal date for them, unless their goal is something ridiculous such as “Learn to multiply and divide by the end of first grade.” In that case, you might want to help them set more realistic expectations.
You might also want to consider a very small incentive to spur them along. Something simple and (preferably) inexpensive, such as additional play time, a new book, or extra alone time with Mom may be a strong motivator.
Take-away: Ask kids when they think they can accomplish their goals and shoot for that date.
3. Work along with them.
I’ve also found that my kids work the best when they feel that I’m involved in the process with them. So when they set goals, I check in with them everyday and ask about how they’re doing. I also ask about what challenges they’re facing and how they think they can overcome any obstacles to reach the goal.
In some cases, I actually sit in with the kids as they work. If Tigger is reading a new book for an assignment, I might have her read on the sofa next to me as I’m working. If Pooh is working on handwriting, I generally sit at the table with him. Just my presence can be enough to help them stay on task.
Roo is my reluctant reader, so we set a goal of reading five minutes per day together. He looks forward to our time and he’s developing an interest in reading!
Take-away: Work with your children as they reach for their goals.
How do you help try to set learning goals for children with ADHD in your family? Do you use any kind of incentives to motivate them? Tell us about it in the comments!
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