Homeschooling when it is hard to concentrate

It’s back to school time.  We have enjoyed the looooong break that we took to enjoy the holidays.  For some of my children, it was a welcomed break that led to a renewed spirit and a willingness to continue with their school work and get it done.  For others…..it has only brought more pencil tapping, more daydreaming, and more of me constantly nagging to get their work done!!!

Why is it not ALL children learn the same way??  Why can’t ALL my children learn from a textbook and work out the required problems for the day in a timely manner and somewhat enjoy it?  Guess if life was easy, everyone would take this route.

Unfortunately some of our children may not focus, maybe they are ADD or ADHD.  I am NOT big on labels.  I am sure you could label a few of our family  members as having ADD or ADHD easily, but do we?? No, we are spent on knowing that Lord has knit each and every one of us with the exact intrique details necessary for us to fulfill our roles in life.

Having being labeled with ADD or ADHD is NOT a bad thing.  Let me say that again, HAVING ADD or ADHD is NOT a BAD THING.  There let me get that out…….there  is so much negativity brought upon by the “labels” that doctors put onto children.  They just want to drug up your child so that they will sit like programmed robots in a classroom day after day.  They are setting up our world for a complete uniform society.  But that is NOT what makes our world work.

Most that have ADD or ADHD are the creative ones in our world.  They are the movers and the shakers in our society.  When they see something not work, (or work) their brains will figure out a different and sometimes better way to do it.  They are the inventors of the world.  They usually have LOTS of unspent energy.  Which works great for being on the go and doing stuff.  Who wants to sit around all day??  They want to get out into life—and enjoy it!!!  They are the “friends” that you WANT to hang out with because they are fun to be around.

Okay, I got it, my child is fun, and will do many creative things in his/her lifetime, but what about now??  What do I do as a homeschooling mom?  How do I cope with a child that has a hard time focusing? Help is on the way….

 GRACE

I think the single most important thing we can do for our children that have a hard time concentrating is show them grace.  Think of how much grace the Father gives to us when we are failing at something in our life. Know that your child is going to need a little bit of adjusting and time to get back into the routine of school. SMILE—–do this more than ever now—fake it if you have to.

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

Numbers 6:25

PATIENCE

When they don’t get something—DON’T belittle them.  Say, “I know its difficult to understand, let’s try it another way.”  When you see them not focusing, DON’T YELL—take a breath and SMILE gently remind them to keep working.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

DISTRACTION FREE ZONE

In our home, it is sometimes difficult to keep distractions to a minimum when we are doing school.  When I see that a child is having a difficult time understanding something and there are multiple children making loud noises, I try and say,”shhhhhhhhh, we need to be quiet while I do this lesson with John.”  Sometimes little ones need that reminder as well.  SHUT the MUSIC off.  Even having Christian music going on in the background can be distracting for some.  If you can’t find a centralized location that will work, let them go into a separate room to do their school work.  I know of some families that give their children those sound proof headphones—-hmmm can I get a pair of those?!?!!?!

I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:35

BREAKS

If you find your child is still not focusing and having a hard time doing his/her work DON’T be tempted to tell them to buckle down for the hundredth time.  Tell them to get up and run around the house 2 times.  Have them get up and do 20 jumping jacks.  When my son was younger for his spelling words, I would have him start at one end of the house and spell them one by one.  As he spelled them correctly he could take a step forward.  Play catch with a tennis ball. Bounce it to them as you are giving them a math fact.  They bounce it back as they give you the correct answer.  I have found that the amount of time, I did yell (yes I know I terrible?!?!?) it was taking more time to get them to finish.  If I just gave them a break and we moved for a minute, then went back to book work—it helped regain their focus so much better.

SCHOOL DIFFERENTLY

If you have a child that has a hard time doing book work and that is all you have ever done—-change it up.  Play some games, do some hands on schooling, watch a movie, or go on a field trip.  Children can learn things in so many different ways.  Take ALL of your opportunities and turn them into a learning experience.

SNACKS

I assume that we are not starving our children deliberately.  But sometimes I know I have one that will choose not to eat if they do not like that particular meal.  If I am aware of this, I make them grab something to eat, even if it is a few bites of something just to get some nutrients flowing into their bodies.  If you see them daydreaming and it has been a few hours that you have eaten—give them a handful of healthy snacks.

Every second brings a fresh beginning

Every hour holds a new promise

Every night our dreams can bring new hope

Every day can be what you choose to make it.

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