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You Need These 9 Homeschooling Tools for Kids with ADHD

Homeschooling Tools for Kids with ADHD

You’ve decided to homeschool your ADHD kid. And it feels overwhelming. And if your child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), there is another layer to it all (if you know, you know). Trust me, there has been more than one occasion where I’ve locked myself in the bathroom with a pack of Oreos because, “Mommy needs just a minute, please!”. But, over the years, I’ve found amazing hacks and homeschooling tools for the unique learning needs of kids with ADHD or other learning disabilities. They have been some of the best things for our homeschool environment and daily routine.

Maybe you pulled your child out of traditional or private school because things weren’t working. or any of the dozens of reasons families homeschooling is the better choice. Whatever the case may be, there is an extra neuro-spicy layer when it comes to homeschooling an ADHD brain. These homeschooling tools will give you a smoother and more enjoyable homeschooling journey.

#1. Fidget Toy Station

Having fidget toys always available is huge for homeschooling kids with ADHD. Fidget toys aren’t just toys. They are tools that can increase concentration for ADHD children. We’ve had great success setting up a fidget station in our homeschool room. The kids can go over whenever they like and pick one out.

I find this tool especially beneficial during read-aloud time. But my kids usually like to have one with them the entire school day. However, we have a rule that the fidget can’t distract me. The clicky ones…nope. Those are a surefire way for me to lose my mind slowly. All that to say, whatever fidget toys your kids use, make sure you’re okay with them as the homeschool mom.

This is the fidget station in our homeschool room.

#2. Predictable Homeschooling Schedule That Works With Your Child’s Brain

We all know kids with an ADHD diagnosis thrive when they know what is coming up. A predictable schedule ushers in feelings of comfort and security. This is elevated when you and your child collaborate on the daily homeschool routine. Allowing children to have input gives them a sense of autonomy and individuality. I even like to check in with my kids a few times throughout the year to chat about our schedule and determine if anything needs adjusting.

For example, about a month after we started our homeschool year, I switched the order of a few subjects. My autistic kindergartener loves working with my fifth grader on a specific part of Language Arts. And having that subject earlier in the day was the best option for him.

#3. Ample Brain Breaks and Shorter Lessons

Having breaks throughout the day is vital when homeschooling kids with ADHD. Their little ADHD brains work extra hard, so they need extra brain breaks.

Having breaks was something I had to fight for when my oldest was in public school. I could always tell when she didn’t get them because she would come home and fall apart. She needed a little help, but the traditional school setting would not accommodate my child’s needs. It was so frustrating!

Now, break time is not a big deal. We’ve had seasons of many short breaks throughout our homeschool days, and we’ve had it where we take two more extended breaks. Play around with break time and your routine and see what works best for your family.

#4. Tailored Curriculum and Learning Plan

Individualized education is my favorite aspect of homeschooling by far. When kids are in traditional school, everyone has to use the same curriculum. And I understand why. But homeschooling is a different story.

You can choose materials tailored to your child’s specific needs, learning styles, and strengths. Additionally, you can switch curriculums if something isn’t working.

For example, my children used a spiral math curriculum, which we loved. However, when my daughter was diagnosed with dyscalculia, she needed to switch to a mastery approach. And I just did it—no big deal.

#5. Make Use of Technology Tools and Online Learning

Another of my favorite homeschooling tools for ADHD kids is using technology during the day. During my first year of homeschooling, I was adamant that we would only use physical books. Ha! I learned quickly that I was making things much harder on myself and my neurodivergent kids. Apps, videos, and online curriculums offer many often overlooked benefits.

For example, the bright animation of online curriculums can hold neurodivergent kids’ attention much better than a typical book. And when a child can pay attention to a lesson well, they can take in and retain much more information.

#6. Switch Up Your Learning Environment

Novelty and variety are like secret weapons when it comes to homeschooling tools for ADHD kids. And these things don’t have to be complicated. Changing the setting of your school day can have an incredible impact.

Wait. I know. You’re thinking, “But I’d have to pack up all our homeschool supplies, and I don’t want to do that.” Yes, I get it. I don’t want to do that either. You can effectively change your home environment to keep things fun and exciting for your ADHD child (and I’m not just talking about switching rooms or going outside).

Decorate! Decorate your learning environment with your kids. You can do this monthly, seasonally, or whatever works best for your routine. Cover space on the wall with blank paper and let the kids create a mural. Paint stars with glow-in-the-dark paint and hang them from the ceiling.

I subscribed to Casey Leigh’s Artful Home Membership for one year. You are sent themed printables to decorate and style your home every month. Now, I have a file for every month of the year. Let your imagination take over!

#7. Incorporate Special Interests

We all know that hyperfocus is a key characteristic of ADHD. Working with this superpower is much easier than trying to fight against it. You can do this by utilizing unit studies or incorporating the special interest into your day.

Does your kid love Roblox? Fantastic, you can find math games there. What about dogs? Line all the little doggies up and let your child read to them for the day. Transformers? Anything from simple machines to robotics – boom. You get the idea. Peanut Butter Fishbowl and My Bored Toddler are great resources for themed activities.

#8. Let Go of Neurotypical Expectations

Phew. Letting go of typical and grade-level expectations is hard. There is a lot of pressure for ADHD kids to “keep up” with their neurotypical peers, especially from friends, family, or even strangers outside the homeschooling culture.

But the beauty of homeschooling is in the individualized education. That means you get to decide the pace and the definition of success. I know this is hard, and I struggle with this, even within the homeschool community.

I like the analogy of comparing apples. Take Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples, for example. If I wanted to judge the best apple by sweetness, Honeycrisp would be so far ahead of the tart Granny Smith apples. But, if I tried to judge which apple was best for making pies, Granny Smith would win by a landslide. Yet, they are still both apples.

#9. Find Your People

This is the most essential tool you can have. Having friends (for us and our kids) who are also ADHD or neuro-affirming makes all the difference.

Whether it is a co-op, playgroup, or another family, the freedom for your child to be completely themselves with others is a gift. And when we are around a supportive friend, we can let go of the pressure we can feel if our child is having a hard day.

I hope these homeschooling tools for kids with ADHD encourage you in your homeschool journey. Do you have any other things that you use? I’d love to know!

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