Virtual learning with ADHD 12 year old - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Virtual learning with ADHD 12 year old

katcald profile image

I am struggling to keep my son on task to complete his work. Every time I walk away he is playing games. and then lying about it. So it is taking him way too long to get his work done. I am going to sit with him tomorrow and my husband says we need to make him work straight through without a break even if it takes him until bed time to teach him to get it done quicker so he can go play. I told him he needs to take breaks — I don’t think his brain can handle it for that long. He says it will work if I keep it up until it does. I said the ADHD brain works differently and you need to parent differently but that I don’t know what will work. Does anybody have any suggestions?

15 Replies

I was forced (by my father) to sit inside while my brother played outside and work on school work. I do not have ADHD, all this did was make me hate my father even more, it did not help me learn...please don't do that.

Children with ADHD need not be compared to Neurotypical children who learn differently.

AND.. you are correct his brain functions differently and needs help to process information. This help can come from modifications, accommodations, thearpy and the most recommended tool medication( becuase it really helps). It is unfair to ask him to sit for a long time, when his brain can't handle that.

Please assist him in getting modifications to his learning program ( less probelms, more time, add color and auditory) and him reward often..

Hope these suggestion work.

Best of luck!

My son is 2nd grade. His therapist says absolutely do not make ourselves miserable to do all of the homeschooling, that it’s much more important to have positive parent-kid relationships and quality family time. She suggested to consider are there valuable things you can teach your son such as how to load the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, cook something.... also sibling playtime can be very valuable. my son is a lot younger but I’ve been saying you can do your schoolwork, or read or draw or play outside, but no TV or video games. Is your son artistic at all? There is a cool app “stop motion video” where kids can make little movies. I think creative stuff is really good and we allow more time on those apps. Take care! It’s so hard, especially when the parents are disagreeing. Hugs!

I have spoken to teachers and they say do the best you can at this time. I had to sit with my daughter when she was in school and now I'm doing it with my grandsons. They think school is boring and the only way to help them with their work is to sit with them and take a lot of breaks.

Luckily their teachers are giving them assignments that they have a week to complete.

From the teachers that I have talked to in our district I don't think they're going to count this online work very heavily. It will help if you need to bring a grade up.

I do hope this is the case. My 10 year old son and our family had just started to get to a really good place before this all happened. School was starting to FINALLY work, 504 plan, making some friends, therapy and small changes to his meds that seemed to help and with a psychiatrist consult to fine tune hopefully coming up.

Now I am homeschooling and I have to be honest my own frustration has been through the roof. I knew how much support he was needing at school to complete quality work but it is just so taxing. I have to sit with him too, for everything. He does not want to do anything independently and procrastinates as well. I too have spoken with the teachers and told them I am going to focus on math, literacy and outside time period. I am hoping this helps take the pressure off of my own expectations for him.

No real advice here but I feel what you're going through and yes, breaks are necessary for everyone's sanity!

I love the way you are approaching this. I think one thing to keep in mind is that we are all "homeschooling" we are not trying to copy the schooldays.

Most homeschool families ( I know there is really a spectrum) do not copy the school day... they focus on math and some English language.

The rest is just fun enrichment (like virtual field trips and youtube topics on science). There are some great live stream art classes also.

We also space things out a lot. So he might start with English. Then take a long break, chores and creative play( legos) then math in the afternoon becuase that is his strongest subject.

I am also working full time so it is a mix of him and I working at the same time.

Great job in not over worring.

Thanks. In addition to either working from home which is stressful or conversely not being able to work and that being stressful it's a lot to take on for everyone. Not to mention just the general state of everything else that is going on globally.

Frankly I've gotten to the point after these three weeks as was mentioned below, that our family relationship and mine in particular with my son is what has to be important.

I think it would be helpful if there was a more permanent thread on this topic. Many parents are going to be experiencing this problem and it would be nice to have ideas and camaraderie in one consistent place!

Another mom had posted a whole thread on ideas on schooling at home that I thought were great. I don’t know how to find it now though!

What seems to work well here is this:

Have schedule on white board

Do tough work in the morning

Keep class time short—no more than 30-45 minutes before a decent break period.

Choose together with child what reward they’ll enjoy when they complete designated work and make sure it’s fairly easily obtainable.

Withhold other reinforcers until work done (block other websites, access to “fun” until break).

Whenever upset with behaviors, walk away, do not engage, and develop a plan for the next day and how you’ll handle same issue then.

We’re still struggling here with keeping to a routine and getting stuff done. Hoping for more good ideas on this topic and possibly a dedicated thread!

Is PBIS mandatory in your state? You would be a good advocate for it. Our kids need programs like Pax but without a legislated buy in to PBIS supports, too many districts shrug off this IDEA responsibility. We need more people advocating for legislation requiring PBIS.

Mandatory PBIS would provide impetus and funding so that Pax could/would be adopted by more districts. Need the money and the impetus to reach more kids.

Thank you for being a strong advocate! We need lots of those for our kids.

This has always been a huge struggle with my child, now it's even worse with everything being online. We have been advised to not be punitive, encourage frequent breaks, let them earn rewards for completion. And focus on the relationship. I wish my child were a better student and I am sad about the incomplete work, but no matter how much we push it has not helped, and has made our relationship worse.

Hopemar profile image
Hopemar in reply to Hopemar

And BTW, my neurotypical child is also struggling with online school. It is much easier with them but still requires frequent breaks and oversight.

Hello. I am not a parent, but a 16 yr old kid with extreme ADHD. Now what I suggest is that you need to be strict, yet calm and easy going. I know from personal experience that a small part of my brain always wished my mom was watching me so I would stay on task. I recommend telling your son that he can play games from 3-5 or something like that. You MUST be strict with that. I know that if you are not strict about deadlines and timelines, he won't get the concept into his head. Now during the day, you don't have to be on his shoulder 24/7 but maybe from time to time, sit next to him (not exactly next to him, give him some space) close enough that you can see his screen. And just chill, read a newspaper or do some work on your computer. Him just knowing your there will keep him on task.

in reply to Jscon1

What better insight than this? Great job, young man!

Jscon1 profile image
Jscon1 in reply to

Thank you! Just trying to help out.

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to Jscon1

Wow! I love your advice, have you thought about becoming an ADHD coach or teacher you would be great at these jobs. Our kids need a role model like you on their lives..

I love what you said about wishing you mom was watching you! That is a great statement.

I notice whenever I ease up at all with our son and give him electronics that it over takes his world... so I am back to only so many hours a day and if the work including chores are done..

I am so excited that you have joined the group and look forward to more good advice.

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