We’ve talked all week about how to homeschool your child with ADHD. But that child is not the only member of the family (and, in most cases, is not the only child you are homeschooling).
It’s vital to understand how all of this works into your family dynamic, as a whole.
So, how can you do that?
Learn About ADHD Together
• All family members need to know the basics of ADHD
• Increased empathy
• Team mentality
Helping all your family members learn about how ADHD affects a person will help everyone to understand the behaviors of the family member who has it. When the family realizes that the one with ADHD is not purposefully doing things to bother others (being noisy, making the family late, etc.), they will start to develop a greater sense of empathy for that person. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer family disruptions and more of a team mentality.
In our home, we have found that simple reminders go a long way. We have the whole spectrum of ADHD challenges in our family. When someone is frustrated with the behavior of another, a calm reminder (“Hey, his brain can’t process that much information at one time”) goes a long way.
Communication is probably the biggest factor in creating a peaceful, supportive family unit.
• Teach/model how to communicate needs in a healthy way
We’re not born with the innate ability to communicate effectively. It’s a learned skill.
Think about it. When a baby needs something, they cry. When a toddler needs something, they scream. When a preschooler needs something, they act out.
It’s only through instruction and modeling of appropriate communication that a child learns how to do it in a healthy way. And it takes time…
Help your kids learn to calmly verbalize what they need. That way, when kid #1 starts making weird noises while everyone is sitting at the table working on math problems, kid #2 will use their words to nicely let kid #1 know their noises are making it hard to concentrate (rather than just kicking them under the table and starting a day-long battle).
But then, how does kid #1 respond to kid #2’s calm request? That’s the other part of communication that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s not all about talking. The other part of the equation is listening.
• Encourage active listening
Active listening happens when we listen on purpose. Many times, when someone else is attempting to tell us how they feel, we are too busy composing our next response to stop and process what they are saying.
A great way to encourage active listening is by asking your children to tell the other person what they heard them say. Then, they have to stop and think about what was said before they respond. Back to our kitchen table scenario…
When kid #2 tells kid #1 that his weird noises are bothering her, kid #1 should repeat back what he heard her say. His interpretation may be that she thinks his noises are stupid, and she doesn’t care that he needs to do that to help him focus.
Well, that wasn’t at all what she was trying to communicate. She just can’t concentrate on her own work with the extra noise. This is the point where healthy communication all comes together.
• Teach compromise
When each person knows how their behavior or words are making the other feel, then they can come to an agreement on how to solve the problem. No, kids aren’t naturally just going to do this after practicing a few times. It will likely be an ongoing lesson with lots of reminders as long as they live in your house.
But, they will get better at it over time, and it will be a life skill that will benefit them in every relationship they will ever have.
Make Sure It’s Not Always About ADHD
ADHD is always there, but it doesn’t always have to be the star of the show.
• Create opportunities to enjoy time together where ADHD behaviors won’t be an issue
Go to the park, find a nature trail to hike, take a martial arts class together, go camping, play basketball, do an outdoor art project, build something together…
There are many things you can do together to get your whole family involved and create an environment where the challenges of ADHD won’t be a cause for contention among family members or a struggle for the one who has it.
Remember, ADHD is a part of who your child is, but it’s not the only part. It’s also a part of your family dynamic, but, again, not the only part.
Creating these opportunities where ADHD is not the focus will be a welcome time of relief for the whole family.
• Schedule one-on-one time with each child doing something that is important to them
Giving each child one-on-one attention is so important. For the child with ADHD, it gives them a chance to show you who they are on a deeper level. It’s during these times that their personality can shine through, and you can really connect with them in a more meaningful way.
It does the same for the siblings who don’t have ADHD, but it also shows them that you appreciate their needs, too. Sometimes, since they may not need as much help as their sibling with ADHD, they can begin to feel a little lost in the shuffle of daily homeschooling life. Giving them this one-on-one attention reassures them that they are important, too, and can do wonders for their self-esteem.
All family members must learn to respect the needs of everyone else in the family.
Don’t create an environment where the needs of the child with ADHD are more important than anyone else’s needs.
Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, it should be recognized and acknowledged.
But, if your family revolves around constantly catering to the needs of your child with ADHD at the expense of providing for the needs of your other kids, your spouse, or yourself, you will end up with three things…
• A kid with ADHD who thinks the world revolves around them, feels entitled, and can’t form healthy relationships because they don’t know how to care for others
• Kids without ADHD who resent you and their sibling and have self-esteem issues
• Parents who are burnt out, resent their child with ADHD, and feel like failures
None of this is okay. You have to value each individual’s needs on purpose and in front of each other.
Your children need to see that every family member counts.
If you want to talk more about this, post in the Facebook group with the topic #familymatters.
ADHD Homeschooling Starter Course Summary
• Setting realistic expectations
• Creating a great learning environment
• Using the curriculum as a tool
• Implementing structured flexibility
• Getting the whole family on board
If you haven’t signed up for your 60-day FREE trial of Homeschool Planet, you can still do that through my link.
Make sure you use the code: JOYOUSJOURNEY
We’ve learned a lot in the past 5 days, but what now?
Are you wondering…
• How am I going to put this into practice?
• What about all the other questions I still have?
• Who is going to support me as my child’s needs change?
• Where can I find more tools to help my child?
Help is Here to Stay!
Let’s continue to journey together as you forge a unique path to find your child’s full potential.
Become a Pathfinder!
What is a Pathfinder?
A Pathfinder is a member of a dynamic community of parents who are homeschooling kids with ADHD together and providing support and encouragement for each other every step of the way.
Right now, you may feel alone with little to no support from others. You may feel overwhelmed by the weight of carrying this responsibility by yourself. You might live with daily chaos because you just don’t know how to organize your homeschool in an effective way. And, finally, the one that bothers me the most, you may feel like you are inadequate…like you’re just not really capable of homeschooling your child with ADHD.
ADHD Pathfinders is going to provide you with a tight-knit community of parents who get it. You’ll never have to feel like you’re out there on your own again because we’re going to be here to support you every step of the way. It’s such a relief to know you’re not alone! Pathfinders will help you get organized to find a clear path to help your child succeed. And you will gain the confidence you need to know that you are fully capable of guiding your child’s education.
What are the benefits of being a Pathfinder?
• Monthly video calls
• Small group breakout sessions for specific ages, comorbidities, etc.
• Success modules
• Templates and tools to help with specific daily tasks
• Quarterly challenges
• Access to the private Pathfinders Facebook group
Join as a Founding Member through May 31, 2021!
If you join between now and May 31, 2021, you will be welcomed as one of our Founding Members!
As a Founding Member, you will receive:
• A special welcome party online video call with giveaways
• The lowest price that will ever be offered for this membership
• Discounts on future products
And a special BONUS:
• FREE Summer Boot Camp ($249 value) – Offered in July 2021
The Founding Member price of only $17 per month will never be offered again!
Sign up by May 31, 2021
Join NOW to lock in the lowest price ever!
You have completed the ADHD Homeschooling Starter Course!
I hope I have provided you with some valuable information that you can carry forward into a successful journey of homeschooling your child with ADHD. I really hope to see you over in the ADHD Pathfinders group, so we can continue this journey together.
Day 5 Assignment
Head over to the Facebook group and comment “I’m a Pathfinder” on the Day 5 assignment thread.
I wish you all the best!
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