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Old 10-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
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Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

I'm struggling with teaching my oldest this year. My 10 year old seems unable to pay attention to any subject for more than 1-2 minutes. She races through her work and gets many problems wrong simply because she didn't take time to read the problem or do the work. She HATES writing with a passion. Every. little. thing. has her out of her seat and off to investigate. She learns quite easily once she sits down and does her work....it's just getting her to do it. ~sigh~

I'm at a loss on how to help her! Any suggestions?

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Old 10-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

Sorry, I'm no help, but if you figure it out let me know! My son is the exact same way...getting up every two seconds to tell a story or ask a question completely unrelated to what he is working on. I just have to keep telling him over and over "Go sit down and do your work!!" I have no idea how to get him to not make mistakes b/c he tries to go too fast. He's been having a big problem with that in history and sometimes in math. He failed his last history test b/c he thinks he only needs to study for 10 minutes, then rushes through and doesn't read it fully. It's really irritating, b/c I know he can do good work if he concentrates. He does GREAT in the subjects that he really likes, like science.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

Make sure you are teaching to their learning style, for starters.

When you correct a paper, tell them how many are incorrect and have them figure out which ones.

Use a timer set to a reasonable amount of time. Or, have them try to focus for a small amount f time, then do something active before going back to it.

When they start to say something unrelated to what they are doing, tell them to hold that thought until they've done their work.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

I read a tip that was related to the Charlotte Mason style to have your child correct the entire paper if a mistake is made. So if they have sloppy handwriting or didn't completely follow directions you are to have them erase the entire paper and start over. The testimonies of mom's using this approach said it quickly got the child to give their best effort the first time.

One of my sons is likely ADHD according to his doctor. When he is loosing focus I'll give him a snack so he has something to do with his hands while trying to complete his assignment. It has been very successful for him. Obviously a sugary snack wouldn't be helpful but we usually do apples or grapes, something easy to munch with one hand while working at his desk. It tends to keep his mind and eyes from wandering as much.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

Are you open to using a computer based program? Has she tried any of those if you are? My DS is only in 1st grade, but we were really struggling with sit down work too...rushing through things...the same type of stuff - I know he has ADHD. We tried time4learning.com and he LOVES it...there is much less fighting over what's right and wrong, what he has to do, how long will it take...less distractions (we don't even use head-phones)...I know theres Switched on Schoolhouse too...k5learning (if that goes up to the grade she's in)...for us this speaks to his learning style and has made school much more enjoyable...just a thought .
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

Oh, and I have heard somewhere that sometimes for kids with short attention spans typing is easier for them than writing...they still need to learn to write well by hand, but maybe typing things up would be easier for her?
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

We have had great success using a cardboard divider/privacy partition and a mini-trampoline

The trampoline gets used right before and after lessons to get her energy out and then the divider helps her keep her eyes on her work when needed.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:04 AM   #8
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

This week went a little better. I started by giving her incentives to finish her subjects on time. We just got a cuttlebug die cutter and a sticker maker, so she is dying to use them. I allowed her 10 minutes of uninterrupted cutting time after each subject was finished correctly. Then, if she finished all her subjects by a certain time, then she got to use the sticker maker. All I had to say was, "Do you want to use the cuttlebug?" and she'd jump back into her seat.

I also made sure she had snacks at the table. She would work right along on her school while she nibbled. And she loves to nibble all her food. I went to the store to buy more healthy snacks for the coming week.

I also gave her this past week to practice doing her work properly. Next week, if she gets things wrong due to carelessness, she has to erase it all and start over.

And she just got a penpal (through a wonderful DS mama's 11 year old daughter, who is also homeschooled). I'm hoping that will help her to start writing more.

I'll try to update this thread with how everything progresses and with what worked and didn't work. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Homeschooling the attention-challenged child

Sounds like you've made some great changes. I'll stay tuned for more updates
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7mom7
I read a tip that was related to the Charlotte Mason style to have your child correct the entire paper if a mistake is made. So if they have sloppy handwriting or didn't completely follow directions you are to have them erase the entire paper and start over. The testimonies of mom's using this approach said it quickly got the child to give their best effort the first time.

One of my sons is likely ADHD according to his doctor. When he is loosing focus I'll give him a snack so he has something to do with his hands while trying to complete his assignment. It has been very successful for him. Obviously a sugary snack wouldn't be helpful but we usually do apples or grapes, something easy to munch with one hand while working at his desk. It tends to keep his mind and eyes from wandering as much.
If I were to do this to my ADD 13 year old, there would be books and pencils flying, LITERALLY!!!! Writing is absolute TORTURE for an ADD child. What works for me is to seat with him and until it's done, correcting as we go. It is a pain for me, but if I don't he will not learn a thing. Almost all of his school work is done 1 on 1. I also keep stacks around and "bribe" him with computer time, football, and ti kwan do. IT IS A STUGGLE!!
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