I don’t want to home school my ADHD/a... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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I don’t want to home school my ADHD/anxiety child

MaudQ
MaudQ

Our school is sending home a ton of work. I haven’t gone through it all yet but we got an email saying it was going to be four hours a day.

My 11 yo has severe anxiety and ADHD and even normal homework can be a battle. I don’t want to be stuck in the house during this extremely stressful time fighting about school work. I want to prioritize her mental and physical health.

She has been doing much better this past year with medication and therapy. Some of the therapy may continue but her in school OT is canceled. I’m worried that she is going to lose some of her gains.

I also have to work from home myself and I don’t think I can get my own work done if I’m supervising 4 hrs of homework a day much less have any time for relaxing, getting outside, having fun and taking care of each other.

I’m feeling a ton of pressure from the school and the other parents to do this - even though I know it’s not the best choice for her. We were supposed to have a parent teacher conference on Friday - which is now canceled (so the teachers can focus on sending work home and setting up online learning). So we don’t have any partnership with her teacher about how to make this work.

I think we could potentially try to do some work on a very reduced schedule. But at this point, my own stress and anxiety spike when I even think about it.

Is anyone else struggling with this? It’s 2am - I couldn’t sleep last night either. I just really really don’t want to do this right now.

36 Replies
oldestnewest

4 hours - wow! How old is your daughter?

I know a lot of college students in my area are looking for tutoring / teachings / nanny jobs through this - if you can afford it, I’d look into that. Community Facebook groups have been a big help to us in riding resources. Some high school kids could also help here.

I’d also consider coming up with & posting a daily schedule - preferably with one close to what you do in the summer / break or close to her school routine. Routine & being able to see their is a plan & reading what to do next can be a big comfort, especially for our kids prone to anxiety (like my son!) My son does his schoolwork primarily on his own, then I check on him periodically to see if he has questions & check over his work.

I also have him read in bed for an hour after lunch, which helps me get some things done as well.

MaudQ
MaudQ
in reply to Pennywink

The thing is that my ADHD kid is 100% not going to sit for 4 hours no matter who it is. She had an hour long video tutoring session last night that is a standing appointment and she totally melted down. This is with a tutor she knows and a format/subject she has been doing for several years. I have to figure out how to tell the school that we are not doing 4 hours and also figure out how to do the absolute minimum - otherwise she is going to be totally miserable. Which is the last thing I want to do to her right now. Thanks for the idea of the schedule - we are going to do that this morning.

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to MaudQ

In my opinion you guys should do what you can. Use the effort/motivation concept, when they are given something that makes them motivated they will put in the effort.

In the district I teach in we are not requiring any new concepts, but only enrichment and nothing new.

Best of luck!

Pennywink
Pennywink
in reply to MaudQ

I agree - 4 hours seems like a lot. My son, though only 8, just has 2 hours of work a day. We break it up throughout the day. And most of the screen based activities he actually really enjoys.

Best of luck!

My son is 13 with some learning disabilities and 4 hrs for us would be way to long. If we are homeschooling our kids we should at least get some help. I have know idea how to do some of the material

It is a very strange time we are faced with.

Could you set up a system of 15 minute work increments. Set a timer and and make a game of it, for every minutes she stays on task give her some type of token so she could earn 15 tokens at a time. Then work with her and put together a list of what she can earn or purchase for 15 token or 5 tokens ect . She can "cash out" daily or save them . You will need to collorbrate with her on this list. This may get you through week one or two and the newness of this will wear off so you will need to change it up

I have a 10 year old 5th grade son with ADHD and I allow him to sleep in during this period of homeschooling due to the Coronavirus. I allow him to sleep in because he is not my only child and it allows me to focus on working on a mini lesson with my Pre-k child in the mornings one on one. But I do not allow him to sleep in pass 9 am. What I find that works for us may or may not work for you but I recommend that you do not force her to sit in one place until the work is done. Set small goals prior to her starting an assignment and check in on her on to make sure she is staying on task. I usually tell my son the following:

"Ok, your goal for right now is to complete this much work in 30-40 min. whichever happens first. If you do not complete it we can either leave it for later on the day or come back to it tomorrow. No big deal because I BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT WHETHER YOU COMPLETE IT IN ONE SITTING OR LATER ON TOMORROW!"

Right away he knows that he cannot stress out about it because I am not putting a lot of pressure on him and if he finishes before the time then he gets to go and play with his toys or play on his Nintendo Switch as a reward.

I know that the teacher may say that the work would probably take about 4 hours a day. But that is probably based on neurotypical students. Our ADHDers need breaks and as a result a 4 hour workload may take an entire day with all the much needed breaks or the attention from parents sitting next to them ensuring that they stay on task.

I read a great post from a home schooling mom saying DONT try to homeschool!! Just don't I am going to try to find that post and link it. Read part one and two

pennilessparenting.com/2020...

I am a school teacher and I can tell you this, we are under a lot of pressure to provide students with an ongoing curriculum to minimize the effects of this crisis. But it is a WORLD PANDEMIC, and even the teacher that assigns all that homework knows that 4 hours a day is best case scenario. That said here is my advise

Most like your state has adopted the Common Core Standards. These standards is what tells educator what students need to know/learn during the school year.

Read up on those standards, so that as you are doing homework with your kid, you are able to decide how important/relevant the activity is and decide how much time to spend on it.

This is a great place to start, corestandards.org

Figure out the purpose of the homework, for example student is to multiply 2 digits by 4 digits, i.e. 25 x 2,345. If there are 20 problems, but you can tell that your daughter knows what she is doing by the 5th problem, then doing the next 15 problems is really just busy work.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some states, such as California, have suspended State testing for this school year. Which, to be honest is the main reason behind School Districts, putting so much pressure on students and parents.

As the parent of a child with ADHD I have learned that many times schools are thinking about what is best for the school, and not necessarily what is best for the individual student.

Feel free to reach out to me with specific questions, and I will do my best to guide into the right direction.

Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to MYSMUM

I am just having a tough time focusing on my telecommuting responsibilities and trying to teach my son the school materials. One person cannot do both. The workload is extremely overwhelming

Yes! I am right there with 'ya! Let's hang in there together and the best suggestion I have for everybody is to focus on LOVE. Our kids have a very difficult time with change. If homework of the day does not get done that day, let it go! Our kids need to feel comforted, supported, and loved first! Trying to get it all done in one day can be exhausting for the whole family. Take this time to spend quality time with your child. Use this time to build on positive memories that will last a lifetime!

We are focusing on his therapy and our relationship with him. Is the school requiring you do the work? Ours isn’t, but my son is also in 2nd grade. We aren’t worried about academics (never have been, he’s at a 3rd grade level). Try not to stress it too much. These are uncharted times, and nobody really knows how to handle this.

I have to completely agree. I have a 10 year old in 4th grade ADHD ODD and a little anxiety also Monday starts about 4 hours of school work at home. I also have trouble with just the ordinary homework. It’s a big argument. I even got a Tudor once a week mostly as homework helper. I am not sleeping well I am almost going crazy and it has not started yet. I cannot get over that this will go on for the next 4 weeks. Forget if they close the schools for the entire year. I also have to work as a single parent I need to stay employed at this job. I am in a Managment position so I need to be at work too. I usually take my son off his stimulant during the weekends when he is not in school and I have time to concentrate on very consistent direction during the weekends. But now I am keeping him in it. This is a tough time. And my babysitter who was during two full days said she is too scared to be out and about. So I am really on my own. I am scared how to pull this off. Only to take one day at a time.

Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to cindy2010

Don't be afraid. You will find strength in each day. I am also a single mom who works full time and has an ADHD son. If keeping him on the medication while he is out of school is helpful then continue the medication. We all have to keep sane during these times.

cindy2010
cindy2010
in reply to Janice_H

Thanks. I have been keeping him on the meds and will continue.

Exteme behavior has escalated over the past few days. Major breakdown and screaming fits even just sitting down to look at Google classroom. Behavior with me (mom) has always been the worst any way. I called in our tutor and she spent an hour doing homework like an angel. Called in our "back-up" tutor yesterday to handle another subject and she is returning today as they finished most of the assignments (again, perfect angelf). Am I angry that she will not do work for me, but is an angel for others-YES. Had to let it go, dish out the $ for my sanity.

PS: stopped looking at the class facebook with all of the perfect kids doing their homework and pictures with their perfect moms.

Brownstoner
Brownstoner
in reply to Happle

This is my life as well!

Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Happle

In the past I have experienced this as well. He is reluctant to complete work with me, but does the work with both of the tutors. I never could figure this out.

abryans
abryans
in reply to Happle

They are hardest on us because they trust us the most- it is very hard. My 10 year son needs a predictable routine, he is attached to his routine and his teachers and everything has been disrupted. He does not understand what is going on and I think he is disrupted and scared, My husband and I are both teleworking and actually, due to the pandemic, working extra hours. My son's school has provided pretty much the whole curriculum on google classroom. We are his parents, we are not his teachers. We will do as much as we can, within reason. We need to make sure he is safe, that he feels supported, and knows how much we love him. We need to make sure he eats, and gets physical activity, that he has a chance to laugh, that we help him form questions and figure out answers, Sometimes, the 4th grade curriculum will have to wait. it is okay.

cindy2010
cindy2010
in reply to abryans

Yes I agree. I will also do the best I can and see how the google classroom works for us. I am working full time through this so I am only able to do so much. Let’s see how the next week goes. I had couple glasses of wine and actually feel a lot better.

abryans
abryans
in reply to cindy2010

I am glad- I had a glass of wine too!

Hi,

I have four exceptional children in our home and two exceptional adults. We are all on a new journey together and the only thing I packed was a whole heap of mercy!

Please don’t feel pressure to do anything with your child. Feel inspired to fit in things as you go. Keep a friendly schedule for some routine to settle in and work at a pace the two of you set.

Our concept of education will be changed forever after this experience and our kids who have suffered the greatest in structured classrooms will have this as an opportunity to thrive!

We are here together! And it will be better! It will!

Oh, wow - thank you - I love this!

I love MYSMUM's comment. I am in the same boat - 11 yo girl with ADHD. My perspective also includes a 13 yo and 16 yo. The 16 yo has ADHD (inattentive type). Even before this crisis, I had decided to let certain things slide as long as my 11 yo wasn't falling behind on core skills - this is just my perspective. I did this based on the amount of stress I had with my older daughter and realizing that not everything that matters in school actually matters (until high school, where she is now). For the last two years we have focused on basic skills and getting her an activity that she loved and where she got some self-esteem. In her case, speed skating. That exercise + team interactions + being good at something has made her into a different person. Now she doesn't have that and is a mess. BUT I know that her mental well being is vital, so I let her trim our back yard bushes for 2 hours yesterday when school got to be too much - even though she hadn't finished a stupid work sheet. She was so happy! Hard as it is, sometimes you have to ignore school. Focus on core skills. Let go of "bad grades" in things that don't really matter (very hard to be judged and to let go of external negativity). I say this as someone who cried trying to juggle kids and work on Monday - who knows where I will be tomorrow - but the bushes were a good lesson. Be kind to yourself. Know your kid. Let things slide. Ignore know-it-alls.

Hugs to all. I have a 2nd grader with severe ADHD. Doing school work is hard but a little better in the morning. So I try to start before 9am and work until 12. with breaks. He is younger so the work is simpler and easier for me to explain. We started on Monday and I try to stick to a new routine so he knows what to expect.

This situation never crossed my mind and trying just to take it day by day. If he starts to melt down I stop it. Sanity over academics or anything else.

we are doing one subject then take a short break, go outside run around then back for focused work time. This helps a lot. I don't do any academics in the afternoon. I also leave time for creativity ( legos, coding, other non structured academic time).

We have a long time to figure this out, so if by summer we are in a good routine and getting things done we are golden. The school has made it clear.. no grades just learning.

I am feeling the same type of concerns too. School has suggested online work to fill in the voids and so students do not fall behind. It is difficult for our daughter to stay on task when school is session. She is in Grade 9 and started the year very strong. I encourage her in a non nagging way to check out the online material. She is not interested at this time. We have an ADHD meeting with her peditritian this coming week so we will discuss it further then. Good luck.

Yes! Overwhelming. Yes! I’m in total agreement that creating an individualized approach to your child’s home schooling is necessary for his/her success.

I’m in the same boat, paddling against the current. Sitting down to work has been a challenge for us both. The most success was had while doing work on a comfy beanbag. Frequent breaks for food, drinks, snacks, walks outside and time to sit with your house animals, anything to break this up so your child continues to learn and you retain your sense of well-being (sanity).

I have a deadline to complete my work from home too, so I understand where you’re coming from. This is hard. This is why I have my child go to school. No, it’s not fair. It just is.

I’m literally going to make a spreadsheet to track all the stuff we’re supposed to be completing daily. Hah! (Hysterical laughter inserted here. ) Make sure you put your work times in there as well.

Create a poster with school tasks and rewards for completion. Then tell him/her that “the poster says you have these items to complete.” When in doubt, defer to the poster. The child is used to posted schedules, calendars, bells, whistles, procedures that they’ll never tell you that the follow at school. They argue because they can and want to see if they can push your buttons. When things go south, walk away, take a yoga-dance-water the plants-do laundry break. Come back to it later. I’m spreading this stuff out over seven days. Literally, the school can’t fire me, I’m working for free and advocating for a child with special needs. Ask for your child’s accommodations, put that on the poster.

I don’t know how this will work. I’m anxious just writing about it, but try to find a parent buddy, peer support parent going through the same thing. Maybe a phone call or text during the day will keep you grounded. Just know that you are not alone in this.

Check in with your child’s teacher, often. Use email, text, snail mail to track your progress. Pat yourself on the back, multiple times daily, then reward yourself.

Crossing my fingers and toes for luck for all of us unwilling homeschool parent teachers.

“Literally, the school can’t fire me, I’m working for free and advocating for a child with special needs.” Amazing - you just made my day. Thank you!!

WickNeo
WickNeo
in reply to MaudQ

We’re all in the same boat here, might as well keep paddling. :)

I am also having the same problem right now. My son is in 2nd grade. He is saying that they are giving more work than usual. His school teacher mailed us yesterday that he is not completed any of his assignments till the date. I am spending my whole time with him to finish his work. He can't sit more than 10 min on any task and if I am not there he will start to play video games or watch YouTube. He starts to say that work is very boring. I will try to implement some of these strategies.Thank you.

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to ven28

I just don't give access to video/youtube. I lock the controllers up and hide the Ipad. When work is done/break time I bring them out.

Hello, I am also a single mom of a 12 y.o. with ADHD. I started working from home this Tuesday. When I saw the amount of work the school system is asking my son to complete, I was shocked. 6 hours of school work is expected. This includes all 4 subjects and 60 minutes of physical activity.

Each day we are focusing on only 1 subject and the physical activity. I do not intend to overwhelm myself nor my son during an already anxiety-filled time with the global health crisis. Tuesday we worked on Science. Wednesday we worked on Math. Thursday Social Studies. Today will be Language Arts. I have broken down each of the daily assignments in 2 parts - one he completes in the morning, the other half in the afternoon. I am also making sure he is reading and doing a short question/answer that I make up myself.

This is not the time to overwhelm ourselves with too much. We are having to work from home for 8 hours, maintain our household and try to find ways for our children to cope with all that is going on in our world. Please don't stress yourself out over all the the school work and do what you can while trying to create a sense of normalcy for your child. Please reach out to me in a private chat if you need any support or further advice.

I just set up a closed Facebook group: ADHDSurpriseHomeschoolSupport. Easier to meet and share there. We’re going to need it: daily. Let’s check in on each other, share strategies, etc.

No affiliation with CHADD or anything. Just a surprise homeschooler like yourselves. 👍

Best (somewhat paraphrased) comment I've seen going around: "I just spent 4 hours homeschooling my child. I now believe all teachers should be paid $1 million a year."

You are not alone!!! I am getting major anxiety just thinking about how I'm going to survive, am working from home from 7am to 10pm at times these past two weeks, because I have a deadline at work, and I don't know how the heck on going to deal with my 8 year old son who has ADHD too, meds help, but my job requires a major deal of concentration, my daughter at least can do her work, but my son requires a lot more time and attention that I dont have, so stressed out!

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